Small Stone

Some hot October
afternoon she leaves
you as abruptly as she rediscovered

your appeal. Death
doesn’t placate those of us
in the heat or near miss

lovers under any shape

A Seasonal Man

For Steve

A spring rain
essence hangs in the air
on a Saturday morning
in October, triggers memories

of any season
up for grabs. We hunt for rats
in the NYC subway,
on its streets, behind

its garbage bins
in alleys. Summer in the City
always makes a statement
to the nose. Bad

puns and monotony
breaking drinks to keep us
warm on a Minnesota winter
night. I came unprepared. You

had no idea what you were
getting yourself into—out of.
On the west bank
of the Saint Croix,

we read through
all I had written
come spring. It came
so violently, I almost faded

dead away
by my own hand. Was it yours
that crossed out

the almost

18 years later—the slow
desperation of a soul dying
to be free.

Fall Down Green

Overheard. I don’t need a sitting
room, I need 

a universal
room where you can go 

to burn
off surprise. And kindling 

would be so because
these are ginkgo leaves 

and this is October
and that is snow.