Late October
by Andrés Cerpa

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.

Andrés Cerpa-Author PhotoAndrés Cerpa was raised in Staten Island, New York. He received his B.A. in English Literature from the University of Delaware and an M.F.A. from Rutgers University Newark. He has been the recipient of an American Academy of Poets Prize from the University of Delaware and his poems have appeared in The Foundling Review.

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