It's not
spreading amber fog from north to south
across September sky. And no, that's not

a metaphor for depression, or the slow death
of love. Not even with its signature reference

to the season of falling leaves. It's just smoke
from a brush fire two hundred miles away,

staining sunlight the color of white sheets
soaked in a rusty bin. It's just a minor fuckup ---

a guy in his yard burning leaves, a spark
from a gas powered motor, that Old Crow bottle

smashed in a dry field, finally finding its flame ---
with a consequence writ long enough

for satellites to photograph from space. It's just
ash dusting the parking lot, like dandruff

brushed from the shoulder of an itchy god.

--- ©2009 Cheryl Dumesnil
University of Pittsburgh Press
Send us e-mail


Go Home

Go to the most recent RALPH