by Elton Glaser

Tendrils of rain
Catch on the dry leaves and drag them
Down to green again.

I don’t need sharp light in the grass,
Quills and brilliance of the sun.
What’s past in me is past.

Elusive, cool, polite
In my own pale way, I fool myself
With tricks in a cranky alphabet.

Mothballs rolling in the gopher holes,
Burlap around the roots,
Wolf piss circling the lilies no one can stop
The wild backslide to appetite.

My mind moves this morning
Like a cow restless for the milking stall,
Heavy and stretched. And my heart ?
It’s still the red light Lord of Misrule.

A slow fan bullies the air around, but
This wet heat won’t give in.
The day drips over me, until I’m stuck
In a mess of minor rhymes and gimpy rhythm.

Downdrift of dark, and the stars
Burn on the black like highway flares.

In the window’s halfempty glass,
I see my father in my face.

Now let me keep my own silence,
A nighthawk sick of these magpie lines.

What ties hold me here ? Sheet bends in the bed;
Slippery hitch in the tail of the goat god.

That clock has time on its hands, but I’ve
Killed more hours than I’ve left alive.

Campari’s impossible color at my bitter lips,
I’ll drink the summer down in wintry sips.