The Reality of Autumn
--Duane Niatum 
In my season as red as the red-breasted
woodpecker, I am the parts I fall from;
the urban accidents climbing from the ditch,
the years in reverse before the eclipse;
the voices crackling like pods,
too wary to break the glass wheels
of the mirror, dance with the cubistic
caravan, the teeter-totter benefactors. 
As the incurables in the photographs fade
with the sun, the day withdraws, takes
the fire, what I built from scars,
the earth, the mythology of dream.
What does it matter that I am
the animal whose one pliant structure
dies a song? So I look for the birth
of myself once more in the eyes of a woman
whose seesaw gift is joy and pain.
To mold the dark to the dark.

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