Cotton blooms sift through the bruise of a stubborn,
moteless dawn—flecks on a weighted cloak drawn
yet half-open to the wind.
In feathered silence, they rescind their wings
to join lost uncles and brothers. Piled and bold
in heaps of Autumn bones, the catacombs have risen—
not smothered, but sprawling in scant light.
They wriggle and drift in reckless delight, banking
on the permanence of death.
As the season fades and her skin decays, the warmth
of her breath is but a figment, so they bleed the world dry
of its pigment, and the whitecaps venture in from the sea;
stalactites drip from the horizon as dewdrops harden
to stud the trees. In the softest of defeats, even the clouds
turn grey. As the low march repeats, they curl into the west.
Dropping petals on the outskirts of the way, the procession
spills forward, in wake and fading
beneath frigidity and imminent arrest.