scarlet and old paper

IMG_1777.jpgyou know the whisper,

red with quiet purr


parchment of year,

almost ready

to sleep for the winter


letter to sugar


sugar, i swear i come skidding

out onto the wet pavement and mud

of this world

every time i see confetti scattered at my feet


i swear i’m born again

during every shock of orange yellow red,

fresh and wet on cement, tossed across

my irises, and


i’m wondering how any of us gets around

without stuffing our pockets to busting

with maple, sweetgum, oak, little ash, and chestnut


there are one thousand and one ways to say

i’m in love, and excuse me, my tongue is tied on one—

yes, that’s a chestnut husk on my shoelace, and yes

there is a leaf in my collar, and on my shirtsleeve. the days

are getting darker but the trees are dropping fire


and i know they smell like someone turned inside out, and maybe

pooped but i’m also smitten with forbidden fruits—

not Adam’s or Eve’s or Adam and Eve

but the soft orange glow and powder of gingko plums

they may smell nasty, but aren’t we all at times?


And oh, I’ve never needed a synagogue, church, mosque, or cathedral,

never stroked words in a bible or

longed for the words of a preacher,

but this world is my place, this world is my place

and leaves falling, ice crystals forming, and flowers blossoming

are my scriptures


sugar, I hope it doesn’t offend

you that I’m not religious but I am one hundred percent

spiritual. one hundred percent infatuated and committed

to not missing this


—is there a word for the need to stop and listen to the rustles and song

of a tree in autumn? I need it now, sugar, I’ve got to go, and

I may or may not be long.