Awful & astonishing night will clasp at the leaves; at the coins of a ruined country:
yellow maple; red procession; black branches.
As I move through the park, as I measure, the winter birds bang
their primordial notes. They skitter & lead me home.
They are all I have to follow: flutter, black keys. Shadow,
can you whistle us a tune?
Like the fountains, palming their subtle thirst, I press the leaves
into my coat to keep warm; to keep something.
Underway, the tightening night strips the rotten
berries & lit brilliance. I walk.
Leaden cords ring in a near room, and I return, poor as the evening
with yellow leaves in my coat
to nest in the bed of my shadow.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 4.
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