It was a strange place to find a home,
settled in the nook of two branches
perched precariously upon an armature
reminiscent of forgotten arms. Perhaps
that is why you stood at my side, cradling
the cold air and considering how, despite
the wind a home would remain.
And so, with more care than necessary,
you reinforced the branches, made arms
from wood to cradle the walls to sleep.
Of course the tenants were long gone:
flapped a wing to find themselves
somewhere warm to spend this winter.
In the end, the wind won, pulling the nest
from the tree. It broke and became kindling
for our fires. You stared as I collected
bits of twine and the remnants of glitter
from still-falling snow. Reminded that next year
we would do just the same.
It began as if child’s laughter:
rolling over rocks seeping
into earth, spraying itself
into the air
into the elsewhere
and through each hell and out again from our lungs
through our bodies
and then back again through.
From first and last then comes a silence (scrounging
something and constructing something, a language
from discarded bottles and bent, dull knives).
We began again as if newness were our tongues’ function.
As every year, the squirrels played favorites
when it came to devouring Autumn’s bounty.
Perhaps springtime’s myopic gorging
left little room for considering
more than rodent celebrity.
I watch the squirrels at my window, safe
behind glass smudged
with yesterday’s spilled coffee. How did I spill
coffee on a window? It was simple:
I wasn’t looking where I was walking.
I wasn’t looking
where I was going (which is different
from not looking where I was walking) because
I wasn’t going where I was looking
and where I was walking
was not where I intended to go.
And so I have streaks of what I can only swear
look like the tears of melted sand: burnt
offering of darkened char, melted substance
that was once both cliff and cave-wall.
And so my window, where I wasn’t going, remains
dirty and the squirrels continue to feast
as they wake from long slumber. Before turning away
I think fondly on the seasons and upon old scenes seen through new windows.