Virginia Smith Rice

[blonde and sad skeletons, whistle, whistle]

Through glass, map a world without sound: wine
blue, lime-russet trees draping yellow concrete – primary,

tangible. Death continues with brisk affection
and red galls, leaf-tips lit like nerve endings.

Summer, I am leaving now, before night arrives
and starts throwing its weight around. Past the fence

laced in cicada shells, chrysanthemums curl
like a chrysalis for December’s thirty-one torn skins.

Autumn laps gently as a well-fed dog: each pale
branch remembers leaves as essential things,

and how easy it is to let things go. Voice gathers in
the gap of breath just starting to sharpen, one end

tucked under another, woven and unwearable.
Green leaf, red leaf, green again. Only August,
                                                                                    and already falling.


“[blonde and sad skeletons, whistle, whistle]” is from When I Wake It Will Be Forever  by Virginia Smith Rice
(Sundress Publications 2014)