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.

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.

October 24

October 24

Northerly wind, rain from the south.

Rain on the window’s a negative of leaves that remain,
and those that give in to brief flight, a reminder: so
much of you is stripped from your bones. Streams on the glass
flow from the river once smelled through the trees,
their nakedness that now leaves you cold.
Why are they cathedrals that do not ring?
Why does it rain in the desert?