1996 Dave Awl

At The Turning

I.

My windows are colder to the touch now
and my hands have shriveled up like
brown leaves, shopping bag paper,
and the spiders whistle dark Russian melodies
from their webs, high in the corners of the bathroom.

 

II.

Yesterday, as I was talking to Tom,
the video clerk, he absent-mindedly
adjusted his T-shirt and gave me a glimpse
of the soft red down on his stomach.
Outside, the sunlight was weaker and
the trees were turning red and the
whole bus ride home, I thought about
Tom's stomach and the red trees rustling
in the still, cold afternoon. At home I drank
raspberry tea and went to sleep for 13 hours.

 

III.

The sunflowers sputtered and went out,
doused by the wet fingers of September.
The black-eyed susans and the tiger-lilies
crumbled to dust in their sleep, and the
morning glories froze like innocents
turning blue in a blizzard.

Somewhere you were thinking of me
and I was thinking about the geese scattered like
pepper-specks across the sky,
and the geese weren't thinking of
either of us, their shadows gliding
across lakes and railroad tracks
and farmhouses; they think of nothing
because they are headed in the right direction.