Before all this there was the Summer or When a Woman Leaves

“Is fall just the bill collector for \summer’s excess?”

In the backyard you burn Fall’s leaves
while children chase each other in imaginary
wars, the smell of smoke their battlefield, a smoky

theater and a burnt offering to the gods, while white
clouds sail by subtly collecting your prayers.  When she
leaves, you carry her with you

in shadows— in shadows that sing; night-voiced and plain.
and your nights become tangled, a crowded together
procession of sighs. In your dreams, your mouth seeks

her mouth, your cheek her breast, your eyes saccade,
trying to keep the stars in their assigned places.
In the morning shadows dance across the stone wall.

across the mound of leaves you have just finished racking
over the orange and gold-leaf of fall. No;—not shadows at all
just the sure passage of time.

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