It is autumn and
sketches in umber smudge
my eyes. Four umber leaves
fret the wind among this green
withering. An oxblood boot
leans against the garage,
tongue lolled and empty as a well,
two sharp stones lodged in its sole.
Pierced apples darken and fall.
And here, the pears foul in drought.
So often I regale the death of things.
So often when the fruits of summer
disbelieve their own demise,
I look to my hands and other
sinuous rivers, I look to my arms
and the blue straw in my wrists
and wonder, when then, when
will my fat-lobed palms curl
around that last ounce of sunlight
and drain, unwilled — umber
In unbecoming, umber in the swift
turn toward winter, umber before
the eyes of those I love — regaled
as if one paperthin death still latched
to a limb was cause for jubilation.