at last the trees have boughed their leaves
stilling coloured bounty to the ground. and still, the bounty.
this is the season of feasting
and each mouth waters a reed on the horizon,
endless horizons of land.
one reed stalked after the next where the mosquitoes buzz drunk, low on the water,
not knowing themselves small but baptized rhythmically
by the dives of the loons and so, knowing themselves holy
washed and serene, even when drowning, the buzz constant in every animal’s ears.
weeping, one branch fells another, winds traitorous
by default: these are hurricanes coming.
every man crams an apple to his mouth, waiting round and pink,
serving a table, serving the dim light of revival, not understanding helplessness –
let the trees bear the weight
of tradition. under every root is a skeleton, the dead feeding
carbon to nitrogen as the skies open their aprons
plucking handfuls from the earth and storing like frantic mothers with fat waists,
and, in the mean time, all the birds plummet
all the trees bow and man is softened like a criminal behind bars, too weak
to know the outside again.