A Gold Burn

A Gold Burn

Either falls are getting harder,

or I’m getting softer—or both.

The sun’s angle flat out

chokes me up and I can’t hear

geese without turning away

toward the dark of the backlit forest.

I don’t want to match the flies

above the pools. I just want

to watch them for fear they’ll go

away forever. What used to be

the heart of a yellow leaf

plastered on a wet, black rock

is something else now,

maybe a door into the kitchen

of a dead friend who waits

with a glass of whiskey

refracting the afternoon sun

in a gold burn across the tablecloth.

I’ve taken to wading rapids

too deep and clear for comfort

just to see if I can stay standing.

I spend so much time trying

to thread the eye of a midge

with tippet you’d think I was

reading Greek by the light

from a dying star.


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