Today's poem is by Raphael Dagold

Season of Burning Leaves

He is looking for something perfect
in the vacant lot full of voices.

We are knives made of a diamond,
say shards of plate glass edged like water
beside dead crowns of August goldenrod.

I am as big as your head,
nods the dull rock squatting
like a dumb frog in the glass.

I am still perfect, says a half marble
bedded in dirt. What isn't?

Halved, quartered, split in a hundred
sharpnesses each with its own whole summer
glittering, as from the articulated eyes
of the green fly shining like gasoline in oil,
each perfect thing:

there's the imagined part, mythic,
library book driven, whole beings
popping from one milky solidity

into the next, face of a pomegranate,
face of a leopard, face of a dove's tail,
face of the chain-link fence
with a hole at the level of his knee,
face in the forearm of his fake leather jacket
where a broken girl put out her cigarette

ten times slow. Face out of black holes.
But August again evaporates
into particles of something else,
a whole head out of the lot:
ears of a rusted hinge,
brow of a broken wheel,

throat out of glass and cracked rubber,
nape of a Nike sole,
skull of the frog stone, eyes,

eyes of the sweet smell
of locust leaves eaten by oxygen.
Let's go, says the head. Let's go.

Copyright © 2014 Raphael Dagold All rights reserved
from Bastard Heart
Silverfish Review Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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