Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Jacket of Leaves

Still hanging in my closet,
between a tropical shirt and snow pants
is the jacket of leaves.
Its colors have faded,
only the thread and stems remain,
remnants of a grand idea
to wrap ourselves in decay
from September until December.

You call me one morning,
awake me from a dead sleep to say,
that the leaves are changing again.
That you would buy the spool
if I would pick the fabric.

The memory swallows me,
of last year’s exchanges
outside the English building.
Brisk mornings surround us,
pulling on our cigarettes,
looking into the trees, wondering.

I laugh, the red ones are best,
though yellow works too.
We envision the jacket
as a sunset in motion,
a streaking flare through fall.
Passersby will brim with envy.
They are green. We are red.

This is October; umbrage hangs heavy.
The air nibbles at dusk and bites at
leaves and night falling.
Trees expend the equinox
smoldering in fire pits.

You wear Autumn over your shoulders,
your leaf jacket glows like hot coals
until the falling foliage becomes falling snow.
The setting sun fades to brown,
disintegrates in the wind,
leaving only stems and thread.

1 comment:

Charles said...

This poem still gets me. It's romantic. I like the last two stanzas best, I think. "This is October; umbrage hangs heavy" and "You wear Autumn over your shoulders, you leaf jacket glows like hot coals" are smashing language. I remember that Will was very impressed by it also. There is something here, something emotional.