Summer's End


The cicadas repeat the same old rumors.
Even the leaves agree on green.
                      Tonight the fireflies will synchronize
                                                their vespers. The moon will erase itself,
            the only one not forgetting
                       to do the hard work
                                                                      of forgetting, 
while we close the window
                       against night’s carbon scaffold
            against the strands of wisteria
            dangling from the trellis:
                       August’s purple-beaded abacus, 
                                  reckoning the days left of summer.

Soon autumn leaves will sieve their own veins
                                                         for last gold, 
            panning the random
                                  among the temple lanterns,
                       thieving Nothing.
Nothing                  on the way to the lighthouse, we pass
                       a broken fence
                                                         and a sky leaking out everywhere.

            Soon Memory becomes our archipelago—
                       the dairy farm masking an orphanage,
                                  the name of a man wed on crutches,
            images once part of something larger—
like Italy’s brittle eyelets of islands.

                       In the meantime, congratulations.
                                  The moon is full even when you can’t see it. 
                                              It is already tomorrow in Japan. 
                                                         The sky is a conveyor belt for clouds.