In the fall my runaway blames
her hometown church, her mother,
and the color of the sky. She abandons
today’s green kiss for tomorrow’s gold and
becomes a virtuoso in songs of goodbye.
In winter I find her heart left for dead
by the side of Cambridge Street and cradle
it home in a velvet box and feed it
oranges and grape leaves hoping it
will give birth to sisters.
When spring comes that box
does not cry for breath, so I donate it
to a bench in the subway.
At home I wind silk thread around
a pile of her pictures hoping for a pearl
I can carry into the surf until
crashing waves pull it from my grip.
It is fall again so I say chants
on the footbridge during full moons
and scatter the torn pieces of this poem
into the wakes of rowboats on the river.
— David Krancher