Break the leaf litter, squeeze through
shedding trunks. Don’t wear
shopping district red. Or blue.
Few things are blue. Of course the sky,
supposedly the ocean, police sirens.
You want army olive and potato brown
like the ground. From miles back, the mountains are fuzzy.
But inside, the road is hewn through gneiss and granite,
sloping severely, rock-cold.
Frost pebbles fill in the roughage up here
like crumbled styrofoam in your carpet. And where
stunted sycamores gather in clusters, stop there.
Your hair and pale weeds move under
the winds’ chain-link rattling.
Tuck in your arms.
Notice how the glow is gone from the trees. Their mustard leaves,
their million peachy hands from branches are dead.
Their skins wracked with billbugs and snapped from your weight.
Outrun the lower world.
And write up here.
Catherine Zickgraf, Georgia, USA