Summer torn down, petal by petal.
Had the father of storms spent himself at last?
An avalanche of stony silence fell.

And then my eyelids fluttered open
as they had that first morning
I saw you beside me, strangest of creatures,

the one most like me. But this time you were old.
When I looked closer, I saw myself
in your eyes, a fallen leaf starting to curl.

I heard a rustling, insistent,
a tree trying to shake off the past
or a river feeling its way past a wall

toward some vast body of tears
it hadn’t known existed. Down the street,
trucks trundled their dark goods

into eternity, one red light after another.
Though it was morning,
street lamps trudged down the sidewalk

like husbands yawning on the way to work.
On puddles, on rags of cloud,
they spilled their weak, human light.

With shadow my cup overflowed.


This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 26 Number 8, on page 35
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