the mornings, like so many things, begin
to grow colder.

there’s a heavy dew brushed across the lilac.
petunias closed up like rigid fists in pink and white and red;
the yellow chrysanthemums already popping.

is it too late to hold out hope
of strawberries? of eggplant?
of cotton blossoms by abandoned roads
that make me sad and alone
and in love all at the same time?

like the past that won’t leave

makes me think of snow and secrets
and, for some inexplicable reason,

as bricks gather puddles

rain bleeds down white October cement
and the last of the honeysuckle and rose
give way to crowns of brittle yellows and rusts.

you ask me what is wrong
and there is no answer to why my answer
is never the right one.

coolness settles like a sigh into the city,
or like resignation, damp and flaccid.
we walk, and come up hard by the riverwall,

all stone and greying mortar against
what solace there is in storm-fed browns.
do not trouble yourself overmuch

by the bitter shade of my loneliness;
all things must flow in turn downstream
save the hawk that hunts above.