November sun sparks
rain, igniting scraps of leaves
draped over naked, shining branches.
The wind: ice. The sun:
a thin hand on my back, its touch
a reminder of July’s oppressive blanket.
How I’d tried to escape it
in sweaty sleep, not any sheet
to cover me, not any wind, only July smothering
my skin. You in the cooler
basement, me too stubborn to move.
Dreams that night carried me on waves between
barely sleeping and barely
waking. Summers will always be
like that: hot and inescapable — Winters like this:
rain, wind, autumn air
ice-hot, ice-cold. Years spiraling
around and around until we dizzily brown
and fall off branches,
spinning to murky, mucky ground
where rain dissolves us into tissue, fragments
of bone. It’s enough
to make me restless, send me
out into the trees where the wind thickens
the fall, frees rain
in drops onto my face and hair:
cool, wet peace. I remember a night beside you
another place another
time, when, through the open
window above our bed, a wind brushed bright snow
from the roof next door
onto me, startling me into
cold grace. So grateful. So glad to be alive.