Gentle Pome for October 1

by Jerard Fagerberg

Be the fall with me
and we’ll dance the new clouds
as the air grows its autumn teeth
Be the wool of the scarf
Be cufflinks decorated with gold anchors
and applause at the bow of the ballet
as we lift these weights to praise

O, that was wonderful

Be the darkening park
When the Capitol’s shadow is indomitable
and somehow everywhere at once
when the pigeons sleep for fear of October
which comes in the morning
and is always cruel to their empty bones

Be the rickety train
asking not to be excused
screeching like a tea kettle across the night
and into the peculiar dark of the city’s tunnels
the conductor howling like a punctured drum
his voice a conclave of late alimony
and curse words for midnight
as the woman across the aisle buries her head drunkenly
into the sleeve of her husband’s calico sweater

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