What Happens to the Fallen Leaf

Editor back-issues, Janet Buck, poetry

I expect we will always argue about
fixed conclusions of a chair —
that image of defeat so raw
it could be hanging, stinking beef
unabated by the wind.
Call it fealty to dreams, to rivers
drying as we speak —
if you guess I’ll yield
to rolling wheels with arioso grace,
you’ve not met my real soul
who thinks that even tortured legs are still
a poem with missions in their syllables.

You will say I have more strength
than monuments of will I know.
You will say that chancre is a cornered bird
in rooms we never knew were there.
And I will say I’m featherless,
a brittle corpse that mourns

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