September and the mushroom clouds appear.
Every day is grey-toned. At night the dark sluices of
The leaf swags pour down into the darkness, splashing
And hopping across the forest floor in pattering plunks
Before seeping downward to feed the fungus.
We haven’t been here that long, but the smell
Of the fall, suspended in the aerial dampness of a
storm past, is almost infinitely here
The contours of the remembered scent give form
To the mist. A spectre moves through it so slowly
the air barely ripples. Without the fog,
And the wave-made phosphorescence
You’d never see it. Never look.
Haven’t the rag-like leaves darkened
As the sea does, when depth is shadowed
By looming obscurity, the vortices in it
Roiling into deep dark whirli-gigs. You wish it would
Go back to the ghost story, don’t you?
Because you’re young.
And naked, and dreaming without meaning to
That you’re in the wrong part of a town
You didn’t even know existed, rescued by
A stranger with dreads who recognizes things
like you; the dopplelganger,
Close to drowning,
Pried loose through sustained effort, but as of yet
No steering. Saved by compassion.
Why do these memories assemble themselves here,
Is it because I bid them?
The artificial worlds thicken, imagined layer on layer,
Cut with delicate shears of black tracing paper. Every
Leaf-shaped silhouette dripping with a teardrop, hanging
From horsehair, while deeper, through the interlace of the fern
Fronds, the horses surging through the spray of surf crash
Into dawn are seen. It hangs behind the table; it’s
My mother, singing ~
The days grow short when you reach September.