The leaves sail away.
Time skirts by, spilling over the cracks where
blankness gathers in the bruised cuts.
I start to roll an extra skin upon my flesh,
shaking yellow and gold specks torn out of the sycamore boughs,
flinging the tail ends into dispersed air.
Neither wild veins of winter
nor clover-scented grass take refuge in my bones,
but the startling cold carts off the promise of early autumn warmth
that would draw relief across the nearly frozen pond.
Breaths become tinged with plumes of white cotton,
bleak and dry,
scarfing over the back of my neck
as the last dregs of summer melt into the limbs,
the inner barks, the perennial roots.
Pearl droplets with newly formed shells dance across my head,
coast on pale wings.
I sense and hear the raw congealing,
like fractured earth hardens over shaky ground–
my ankles wade low in transcendental drifts,
where, from their chill-bound delicate turns –
faint, fluttery strains of the autumnal song
yearning for a sunflower summer.
Let warm recall thaw frozen bones in impending winter’s now. – mh clay