Beyond the clouds’ crumpled page, a winter water-
mark of sun. The houses lean on the wind, another

transient body of wind within weather, an unbound
spill of smoke, soot to smudge these hills. A clutter

gates the raw fence of wood, woods where trees rake
air for what a wind can carry—dust, leaves, paper

scraps which tell no story but that of tangled flight.
The hills ring, delimit a sense of risk. Seen, here,

from overhead, asphalt’s conduit sends and receives,
retrieves passing messages, overheard whispers

we cannot quite decipher. All along its edges
are scattered cast-off rags, torn strips of rubber.



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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 23 Number 5, on page 32
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