|The Harvest Chill
When October, the alchemist
sprinkles gold dust on soy fields,
and rakes cucumber fingers
through the beard
of scraggly willows bent,
I stash poems of a summer
into the Marco Polo suitcase
of rusty photographs
and cracked diplomas.
When pumpkins hold a candle of hope
to their haunting emptiness,
Iowa's pelicans and Jersey Jews
migrate to Miami.
Abandoning their watchtower nests,
they cry in the skies over Paramus malls,
headed for god's waiting room.
And just before winter's cringe,
I bathe in a cocoon of sweet solitude
with my shadow, the poet
who paints memories of manured alleyways
stiched on the skirt of sleepy mountains
where donkeys pawn raisins for beads,
or sometimes a palm-full of hay.
Where acrobat pigeons flip
to please their pigeon trainer
who hobbles on his balcony,
his belly flopped out of his madras pajama,
whistling through his gold teeth
at his feathered harem.
The desert moans and mothers me,
"Your uncles are old and dying.
You have drifted for seventeen years,
and you are still not your green card.
Come rest at your caravansary
where a stranger longs
to dwell in your spirit."
September 29, 1996