From Frederick Hill, I look out over tallgrass prairie—
seared burnt sienna, umber, coppery maroon.
Today I saw a magpie flash its absolutes
of black and white. One for sorrow.
Last night I walked in darkness, drawn
to the ghostly gingko on the corner, its yellow
fan-leaves spotlit by the amber streetlight.
The leaves are dying, but in that otherworldly-glare
they looked just like a spring tree in full bloom.
Remember that fly in amber that he held once,
his big, rough fingers gentle, spatulate?
On I-90, driving home from the airport
I see the fall has fallen, all the bright birds
have flown, the fields are straw now, shorn.
The highway’s periodically stained
dark red, as if from ritual slaughter.
Deer corpses lie keeled over on their sides,
all their living leached from them.