Who lives where summer 
ends knows the hard cold of
            autumn is blissfully 
            close, although it feels 
            each season newly un-
known. You are constantly 
newly unknown to me,
my night-glowing open-hearted
            sting-of-salt weather. 
            Rains and winds, sleights-of-
            hand. Who if not you
could weigh me enough 
down. You’d paint my eyes 
blacker and warmer than they are
            and soon they would carry
            whole calendars of
            black night in them. 
You say you’re pulled back, 
but it is a rare thing inside those 
           shocks of minutes that 
           holds without our even
           needing to touch it. 
Maybe you think you trade 
one clean joy for 
            another. But mine is darker,
            slanted, nitrous blue at the root, 
an acrostic of what is 
most free and 
far. To be another
            person than the one
            you were before means
            more than I understand. 
But my gradual hands 
move in streams
over you whether you travel or not,
            as you drop into sleep or not, 
            and in the book of this
            most-alone-place I am 
there only when you feel
need, a coat so thin and so like
           skin you can touch the 
           slopes, the smoother 
pools, dust-mooded 
winds over roads, the skeleton 
instrument of your voice 
            as it richens the maps 
            and paths, summer’s last 
            shades of white on dark soil, 
as if the moon-moth and 
house-mouth were 
            close against the lashes 
            of your eyes, puzzles-in- 
            flutter, or wandering 
off through the warm night air, 
unlikely ever again to find 
such light as this.