Kyran Pittman


Old now, the year
clutches with cold hands
at what umbrage still cleaves
to the ragged trees
the dogwoods decrepit
as spinsters in moldering lace
or cinder girls stripped
of their borrowed costumes
the hour late the leaves gone
waltzing without them
rasping like taffeta
down the sidewalk below.

 Skyward starlings wheel
shadowing the whirling leaves
winged fragments
of kaleidoscope glass
shifting ceaselessly
swelling with a noise
like anticipation
like the noise in your chest
at a first caress
your whole body quaking
all heartbeat and panic. 

Sometimes a hand
reaches out
turns you upside down
and shakes you like
a dime store trinket
sends your love swirling
in strange eddies
like the leaves
like the starlings
the storm inside you 

It can strike you blind
make you run in circles
make you think it must
portend something
must mean more than
mere passing turbulence
but it doesn’t
and it passes
like a moment passing you by
an insight that escapes you
the leaves dispersing
the starlings departing
the trees and you
with cold hands


(photo by Crystal Jones)