Autumnal

One-by-one the trees undress in carcasses
of seed, scatter in cascade, in flimsy under-orange,
a negligee of red. The colors lost, caught with vine between
the tines of rile and wind. What dread in bleeding?
To lose like leaves is grace.
A stillness that anticipates the rain,
the early freeze,

the piles of leaves so freely
given. The god who plants this absence
is rake, he’s randy. He strokes the seasons.
Nothing in his reasons but the need. The hunger
This is the dust. This, found forgiveness

I wait for gifts the sun remembers then forgets.
I put an ear to thunder.

Despite my infidelities, the earth will take me back
from chosen exile. The mountain of her thighs will open up
to blue sky filigreed, to neon mornings pointing home
the zig-zag way. Leave me to this taking.

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