More Fog than Frost

this October.
It’s time
to stop
breaking weather
records. Where

did this climate come from?
Waterloo? Saint Louis? New Orleans?
Where did our old one go?
Duluth? Thunder Bay? Fairbanks?

Finally,
the radiators
begin to
rattle and hiss
at night. Leaves

scattered on the sidewalks
do not speak in brilliant color.
Lots of brown, some yellow-green,
very little burnt orange or red.

I’m fine—really.

“We been runnin’ ‘round covered in gas,
playin’ with matches, oh.
We’ve been runnin’ this thing,
burnin’ it down, down.”

When Leon Bridges
begins singing
“Don’t Worry,”
it’s over
for me.

October is my flame season.
Can’t erase the memory
of seeing those fire trucks
(not red) in front of my apartment

house in
New Haven
that beautiful
fall civil
twilight. Lost

in the soul
of the thing
I can’t quite reach.
I wish I wrote

“the plane
tilted, dropped
and rose,
and the whole
earth slanted”

the way James Baldwin did
in Another Country.
I wish I was on a plane
about to land at Idlewild.

I wish
JFK was
alive when
I was
born. Longing

for that lover or piece of land
I never met. Saudade floats—
never sinks. I will never forget
where I learned to swim

(Eastville,
the Vineyard)
or who
taught me
(my father).

2 thoughts on “More Fog than Frost

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