Willed In Autumn

TRACY K SMITH

The room is red, like ourselves
On the inside. We enter
And my heart ticks out its tune
Of soon, soon. I kneel

On the bed and wait. The silence
Behind me is you, shallow breaths
That rustle nothing. This will last.
I grip the sheets, telling time

To get lost. I close my eyes
So the red is darkener now, deep,
A willed distance that backs away
The faster we approach.

I dream a little plot of land and six
Kid goats. Every night it rains.
Every morning sun breaks through
And the earth is firm again under our feet.

I am writing this so it will stay true.
Go for a while into your life,
But meet me come dusk
At a bar where music sweeps out

From a jukebox choked with ragged bills.
We’ll wander back barefoot at night,
Carrying our shoes to save them
From the rain. We’ll laugh

To remember all the things
That slaughtered us a lifetime ago,
And at the silly goats, greedy for anything
Soft enough to crack between their teeth.

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