The time of the hawk counting chickens, of haystacks in
fog, of small change in the pocket that burns the skin;
of the northern rivers whose ripples, freezing in a far-off mouth,
recall their sources, their god-forsaken south,
and warm up for a second. The time of the daylight’s ups
and downs; of the raincoat hanging, swollen boots, mishaps
in the stomach due to the soft-boiled, fallow
turnip; of winds tearing apart gonfalons
of sod-fearing warriors. The season of card-built kremlins;
days resemble each other like “when” and “where,”
and the bark is stripped by fire’s shameless, trembling
fingers that grope for more than damp underwear.

This Issue

February 5, 1981