Leaves

One feels nothing
when the first days of November
arrive to fill in the wind-scoured constellations of geese
or to carry away
the sour mounds of apricot,
October peeled away.
One wonders,
where do the deer sleep here,
in November,
wake, cut away
under the grey trance of sky
when the blind car unzips its haste down
the threadbare road revealing
crops of still life too ingrown for
decay and that crisscross beneath
the unspoken snow,
yet to make landfall.

Northerly

Northerly,

circling

the windshield

its

hand prints of leaves,

giving in to

their brief flight,

and their glassy

question marks

that say,

why

does it rain

in the desert?

So

much

of

you,

stripped

from your bones,

old rivers that scented trees,

their nakedness pointing you

to the sky,

cathedrals that

do not ring.

About that Can Opener you Lost

Unless that’s your voice,
calling down from upstairs,
asking again whether
I’ve seen the can opener,
I’m outside.

I’ve looked everywhere for you.
See? A dog digs digging!
Cupboard and drawer, every one agape,
like desecrated catacombs.
45 US on Amazon, you say.

I’m not sure how long I’ve been here
figuring out how long I’ve been here on my own,
thinking about,
you know, how I thought we just did
the wallpaper in that room
I could always find you in,

or how things add up
when you take yourself away
to, at least, the third floor,
without bothering to leave me
the forwarding address
that brings you back,

or the kitchen window custom fitted
in a sequin pattern dress of rain,
that seems to come down out
of nowhere,

like sadness
each drop suggests,
while the tin trash cans out there
just stammer on about its beauty.

Birds From the Garden

I believe now,

their faith,

growing absent in the garden,

skin-and-bones behind

cold stones,

and in creases of soil

they shed nettles,

almost

by hand,

in them admonishing their

preparations for regret,

seeing that

they take

from the windows

their lessening reflections,

then bear them,

because winter is the garden

of the desert,

because winter breathes the dead

into light.

Hope

Maybe I am dirt. Maybe
I am dirt that buries you,
and it’s in me
to learn
to softly bring you water
that tastes something
like the sun.

Coming in from the Rain

Rumination is made with a bell,
landing in me. Drizzle scarves
the shoulders. Dampness is not the opposite
of dust. Movement sticks to its illusion,
she said one night into the sound
of my name in her body. There are only steps, she said,
against the banks of things.
I make it back inside.
Shoes squelch the marble floor,
then plunge the hall. I move into the pulse of it,
up the dead river’s flow.
I can feel your heart in me, she said.

Coming in from the Rain

This rumination of a bell,
repeating
wavelengths
unpronounced in me.
So, it lands,
dampness sticking to
the shoulders, the back,
flutterings of
falling apart.

“She’s got great faith,”
I’d say, teasing her.
Sometimes, it’s
“things are meant to be.”
Other days,
“some things never change.”
Or, like yesterday, it’s,
“everything changes.”

“Movement settles into its illusion,”
she said one night
inside the sound
of my name
from her body.
“There are only steps,” she says,
“against the banks of things.”

I make it inside,
Shoes squelch on the marble floor,
like some strange duck,
and rise up into the hall,
and then back to me.
I walk into it, dragging all I can,
up into the underground flow,
the dead river,
despite never understanding
who’s calling, either the rain,
or the bell,
or just some damn duck.