A Crisping of Leaves (after Before Nightfall)
August. You awake with Death in your throat
Laughing; his nicotine yellow beard shedding,
Filling, like asbestos, the spaces
Between everything. You awake with Death
In your throat laughing and you say Fuck you
And the horse you rode in on. And he,
Laughing, tells you he’s not proud. Why
He got down off his high horse years ago—It’s
Your old, blue bicycle he’s been riding riding
Riding. He’s ridden the treads from the tires,
The tires off the rims—Holy rattling fuck! What do
You mean you didn’t hear him coming? He takes
Your bony hand in his, shows you a crumble
Of brick and mortar, a psoriasis scale of rust
A wilting of petals
(Now it’s a walk in the park), a crisping of leaves.
He takes your bony hand in his, and you know
This grip. It’s what you’ve always clung to.
—This poem previously appeared in Shaken by Physics, and on the Mumbling Jack album.