Breaking the Ice; or, Writing in Deep Winter

This is how it begins:
the summer breeze hemorrhages into an autumn gale,
Time retracts its dispensation toward the sun, contracting the elongated hours spent
traversing its elliptic, as darkness creeps up and discharges
a curtain of black ink across the sky,
dripping down its dome like the blood of martyrs trickling downstream
on the crossed wooden beams of the Tree of Life.

Night swallows all from zenith to horizon and disgorges the crescent moon,
whose sickle reaps a harvest of the shrouded sun’s rays
from the last minutes of twilight, setting in their place a tapestry of stars
and constellations pulsing and unraveling frayed threads of energy and other matter
into the dustbin of the universe.


The architect of autumn denudes the trees and siphons the breath from the foliage,
yet in this end, this slow surfacing of death, there is a beauty in the decay displayed
on the canvas of Nature, the architect’s plans for a future rebirth drawn and etched
in the veins of the fallen leaves,
dyed with the pigments splattered on a painter’s palette.

This is how it ends:
I weave through the leaves scattered all over the sidewalks,
the weight of the expiring season
staining the concrete with the imprints left by their wet, trampled shapes.
I shiver as a coldness bitter to the bone cloaks my spine and holds it taut,
and I sense an intruder emerging from the shadows follow me home,
cutting into my skin, digging up the earth that has buried my soul,
declotting the words that have lain dormant therein, and melting
the frozen terrain of imprisoned passions and paralyzed dreams within me
into the verses on the snow-white page
as deep winter sets in and I begin to write.


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