november 3

november 3

No stars, geese low, traveling south.

You feel that your body in darkness is
another life.
It rubs lightly past the faint window
of your room, an image, still,
skimming water between morning
and the southerly transmigration of dreams.
Closing the glass, it whistles a thought,
sleepily, but you,
your lips rest, and hum another thing.
You think of birds.

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.

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.

Again

Maybe, this morning
you are raking leaves,
scraping yellow canals through a yard’s
parched lake, that each morning,
after sleep, weigh lightly
against the ankles,
parts, as you walk, rejoin.

Fall is new here, and teases gravity,
and leaves dervish,
decomposing into birds.
But you loved trees,
didn’t you? And me,
mound of decay, smoke-bleached.

And now,
I feel myself breathe.
For a moment, I believe
I can decipher the air
where you sing to yourself,
wading in again, another road
peeling through the beautiful ruin,
recollecting, then, the old truth,
the new truth, that even trees will
have souls again,
while others blacken
as they burn.

Fall Again

This freedom is not the same
as knowing. It lacks the fullness
of you. Meanwhile, the landscape in the field
still has not been removed
of the men who work there,
or their relief in the sun,
stretching its dark arms
through them, ready
to catch the colours that must surely
fall.

Winter

Thursday evening the dogs run ahead
through the unraked cheeks of leaves. I’ve let things stay,
and circle around too much. I’ve lost the air
for other things. The drive into the city for winter tires,
the tail-lights that need repair, the brakes
I’ve been riding too long.
I stand here at the door a little while more,
and let the dogs feed scraps of barks into the breeze.
I suppose, to them, its seems alive, shuffling along,
casting out and resurrecting the dead. But dogs
shouldn’t dream. Night’s here, it’s the end of the week.
In a few minutes, winter comes.