In the long spring falling out of love was a task I set myself to,
and I found preoccupation with frogs diving into gullies, the truckers
idling all night in gravel parking lots of sagging restaurants by the highway.
Voices from the road played off as spirits asking who
left the ringing phone unanswered? Who
left the laundry blown into trees untouched?
On the edges of towns: lonesome greyhound track, miles of furrows,
sides of the roads ploughed narrower and narrower every season, now a single dirt path
winding through the fields.
Dark on the creek bed the cranes fly low and lean, wings heavy
against the body of the heat. Snakes shed their skin long ago, lie
coiled in the damp of outhouse soil and find in their languor a task to set themselves to.
The pecans drop their branches in wind, loosen pollen in tassels.
Slowly the barns cave in,
trees felled by lightning give in to decay, the broken crockery
doesn’t mend itself, the fields set afire by the falling sun blaze unextinguished
night after night. We begin to ask the unanswerable questions. Who
turned their shoulders to the wall at night
when owls shrieked in the grape arbor? When
the ghosts of women scuff their feet on the upstairs hall floor and light reflects
in the eyes of every dead thing, why
did you leave the door unlatched? Hair clippings
in the waste basket?
The husk of a body left
asleep beneath incandescent light, the story unresolved: who left
the milk to curdle, let the eggs roll sideways off the counter?
The body of this world, fields burning all autumn, is a want larger
than any lover can assuage. The fields of September
an effigy to the fields of April.