The Cold Left Behind


(From the collection ‘Cataclysmal: Seventy Wasted Poems’)

There is an endearing quality to the woods outdoors
At night, the trees and their leaves turned red and gold
Do not forsake you. Neither do the foxes whose steady
Paws upon moss-swilling ground assure your
Pounding, fearing heart that no human is a-stirring.

You are safe.

Amongst the brambles and the darkened barb-wire

Fences, you can open your curtains and peer out intoSpaces of peace and endless silence. The journey
You have made from bustling wealth to frugal

Nothingness proves fruitful. There is nothing you needDo now, except emulate the upright
Sight. They want for nothing, and wait with utterGratitude and calm for the rain and muddied
Soil, the raven’s hungry perch upon their twigs, the
Sound of Life within their midst.

And in your reflection on the window you see yourself:
Standing with them in the forest; a spectre
Of the child who loved to watch typhoons
Shake the cores of coconut palms and wave their
Pliant trunks. But this was the cold of the tropics,

In which storms felled trees,
Rapped at your shutters, brought Death.

The frigidity of this year’s chill
Wraps your body like a crypt so impenetrable

Now that your soul is wide awake, revelingOnly in the fire tucked so neatly
In invisibility—

In anticipation of the Fall,
And the final fluvial snow-bed of your
Impalpable shadow.


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