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.
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: