Each October the house beyond 
the woods appears, then goes away

in May. The maple opens 
to let the blue jay in, then

closes, while all 
the trees keep pointing

in the same direction. 
Every house is

a missionary, claimed Frank Lloyd Wright, 
but what is it they want

us to believe? Beside the house, 
a road, and onto the road raccoon,

possum, ground hog, deer occasionally 
stray: how the hind leg rises

at death, saluting 
the sky, just as at the end

of Stravinsky’s Rite of 
, a girl steps onto

the stage and dances herself 
to death. The ground keeps opening

but will not speak. To attract 
birds, you must make sounds

like a bird dying. Begin 
with alarm—psssshhtt—then

move on to the high-pitched 
noises small birds make

when seized by a predator: loudly 
kiss the back of your hand

or thumb. The origin of music was 
grief: a dirge sung annually

in memory of Linos, ai Linonalas for 
, from the Phoenician ai lanualas

for us, a harvest 
song, lament for the death

of the year. In October, as in Wagner, 
you can have the gold

but only by renouncing 
love, the past can sometimes be

forgotten, and heaven go up 
in flames. Wagner always loved to be

where he died, in Venice, 
because he could hear music

only in the city’s silence.