Summer-long the gulls’ old umbra cry
but certain waves went by, then by.
The sky shook out the days.
The seabirds’ hunger rose in rings,
flung rock-clams to their shatterings,
raked gullets full, the bone-bills scraped.
High noon: oceans of time escaped.
All winter we slept benched together,
breakers, sleepdrunk children in a car
not conscious where they go.
We kneaded bread, kept out the weather,
while old suspicions huddled by the door,
mice in the snow.
In spring, the leaving bloomed—
oak leaf unfurled, a foot, resplendent
vigorous, aching to shake loose
but still dependent.
One morning moongreen loaves
rose into bones that rose to lift
our skin like sleeves,
our time together’s revenant.
Perennial fall, come cool the cliffs,
bring quiet, sulfur, early dark.
Represent as you must: dusk, dying, ends
and row us into winter’s water:
The body, wind-whipped, forms stiff peaks,
ice settles in the marrow bone.
At the chest, the live stone breaks against the beak,
beak breaks against stone.
Maggie Dietz, “Seasonal,” from Perennial Fall (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006).