Autumn

by Frederick Seidel

Read by Emma Rye

A man walks briskly away from his body
And from feeling slightly sick on a blazingly fall day.
The sky is fresh perfection, without a cloud of illness.
The air is clean and cool as a fountain.
The heat of the last few weeks deflates.
The man walks as fast as he can up a mountain
In the middle of his head,
In the middle of a city.

Notwithstanding your attempts to indict me,
I will not fall ill, I refuse, he says.
He says, Some things are more delicious than other things,
Minister of doodle-y-doo,
Prince of sky after sky of blue.
Even in almost a drought,
Things can be succulent and full
And capable of merci beaucoup.

Sky after sky of blue, to match his eyes,
Is also the color he looks best in,
And also what these fall days have been so far, a fresh perfection.
A man should be wearing the sky.
A fellow should wear what he is walking under,
And when the day clouds over, especially so.
He’s ready to travel via his smartphone to her gloriousness
Faster than the cars go in a Formula One race.

Behold his angel far away,
Who might as well be cocooned in outer space,
But in fact she’s in a country where the sky is always gray,
And where the sky wants to stay that way.
If you make up your mind to,
You can be together in her weather.

Or if you’d rather,
And can’t live without her, you can die.

Round head, round brain, jagged heart,
Your heart barnacled by too much . . .
A space traveler incapable of space travel,
Back from a failed mission,
Lands out at sea on the deck of a nuclear submarine
With armed warheads that has surfaced for this purpose.
It is a spectacular fall day, and the gorgeous air is dressed in blue,
And the worshipper turns to her neighbor and gives the kiss of peace.

The leaves will be falling soon to make things fresh and clean and new.
People walking their dogs bend down
To pick up after their dogs the dog doo,
People obeying a city ordinance they’ve finally got used to.
No one expected where they were heading.
They join hands at a worldwide wedding.
The police commissioner is there, the mayor.
On the steps, kilts are wailing bagpipes.

 

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