Wednesday, November 20, 2019


The end of November
is the absolute worst.

The word summer 
sounds in the ear now
like cold distant Church Latin,
like a terrorist's trigger word;

and even the spectacular
failure that was autumn—

the bittersweetness of colors
running, the dead moons
hanging low as loose teeth,
the flocks of crisp geese retreating
giddy through the lunatic air—
fails to stir the heart any longer.

All is simply brown and gray
and braced for the full-body
cast that is winter—a terrible lot
of pressure

as we collect one another
and prepare to obliterate
ourselves on the brink
of some wandering anniversary,
to ask—

Who here
have I recently offended?

Did I slow down for a second
to actually taste the stuffing?

Am I sure I love this
person I'm sitting next to?

Am I supposed to learn something,
or am I supposed to pass the test?

Did none of us savor those bygone
seasons of the year enough?
Has anyone ever

truly appreciated
one trivial grain,
one liquid syllable

of earth correctly—
just the way
it was intended?