This is a yellow I’d go to hell for
murder and lie for and even marry.
Autumn demands its own geography
archipelagos, rituals and inventions.
It must be Thursday in Rome or Prague.
Rain and history gouged out the size
of a canvas or door into air amber, persistent
as berries ripening in early autumn.
Apple dawn. Apple noon.
There are only transitions of necessity.
They break like paper bridges.
Absolution in increments of yellow.
Lampshades, opera shawls, pieces of lace.
Consider the subtle paradox of planning suicide
while buying antiques and calla lilies.
The serial killer dreams of Mother
carrying baskets of sea-blue towels
and just-picked apples, skin translucent
as infants. It’s an image to remember
with a knife. He’ll tattoo this to a six-year-old. Suzanne. Danielle.
This is why lamps were devised
prayers and calendars and the M-16.
This is why we fear the plaza
and the embrace mouth
to ochre mouth.
I call you dog and you bark.
Love is a contagion.
Concubines know this
rinsing ginger from their hair
on October afternoons
elongating like a woman in a coma
or her eighth year of marriage.
This is no journey, she thinks, startled.
It’s a felony.
We must eat apples electric light
bulb yellow. How they sting.
It’s an interior tattoo and road map
to where we really live.
It’s how we send ourselves
to prison camps.
There are only wind-sampled
maple leaves you see in the dark
like candles and fireworks.
Wrap me in rags.
Tell me I’m beautiful.
There is cinnamon in the well.
Small cities float at the edge.
It’s a day to bathe in almond.
Still yellow water.
Pond under cathedral bells.
I could close you like a pocket mirror.
I could wear you like a scar.