a body too, and that of the slug
that tore the leaves of basil
into a kind of lace? Today
is the first day of autumn
and I found not a single new
fig on the tree.
I am pointedly reminded of the unseen
bruises; they have waited all these years
to flesh themselves into fullness, like a plum
hanging to wait, for hands, or perhaps a crow’s eye,
before the fall
into a sharp beaked peck, pluck and grab.
And this pain is as excruciating as it is
exquisite, for the sounds of bees
drowning for their thirst; the goldenrod and ferns are
skeletons, – sackcloth and ashes.
I see their ribs, wonder at time’s transformations
when I too was once nothing but collar bone fashioned
and festooned with a supple skin and blush-flushed face.
I am more rounded now yet still spirited angular, as if
my branches are lithe but strong, steady sturdy
but there are scars marring my body; it has been carved
by a woodsman’s hands.
I can’t decide if his touch has been soft or calloused
or if it’s all just
the echoing loneliness is
where I have worn myself too thin.
And a purplish yellow oval blossoms on my right thigh.
I don’t know how it’s come to be,
remembering nothing more than toast and jam, plum smeared
with plumping sweetness;
as I watch the winds drop the fruit basket leaves
to the ground, while a crow calls out for the others to gather.