855 Readings | 13 Ratings

The seasons are easy to distinguish

I am pining for autumn. My friend is afraid.
          She fears if I speak of the season, I will summon it.

She drapes her breasts in silk ribbons, binds them;
I can see through her shirt.
                                             When my wife began her affair, she started wearing
men’s cologne, the same scent as my father’s aftershave.

I watched her leave as I stayed at home with my stanzas and kitchen dress.
     The latch clicked, and I rolled over, placing my nose
on her pillow. How I missed my father, who used to write me letters:

                                                  I can’t sleep all night.
                                                                                          My heart is sore.

This continual thaw and thrum;
                                             the inability to hold particles together,
               to contain the thing we are trying to construct.

               My wilderness,
                                             my wilds,
                                                                 my wife:
                                                                                willing,
                                                                                willful.
She always called me coward.

And it’s true:
          yesterday, the river broke my thumb, bruised, tattered; the rapids
                              swallowed my scream.

I remembered the whitewater on our honeymoon, how I refused to kayak alone.
               How she sought out disaffection, frenzy.
                              I napped naked in the hotel, dreaming
               of slipstream; my bare legs pointed toward the rocks, the disequilibrium as I fell
backward into the current.

                                                  Today I wake alone, the last place I wanted to be.
There is a chill in the air, and
                                                  on my tongue:
                                                                                                         apples.


Posted 10/31/09
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