It's true. You've run as fast as you could, but time is always quicker, and the ninth month has finally caught up to you and commanded you to get back to work.
So, this Poetry Friday, we bid a fond adieu to August and look into the belly of the beast that is September.
And what better way to look forward than to look back? At least, that's the sense we get from Stewart Coles' haunting, enigmatic, elegiac "What September Swallows" (from Questions in Bed).
What September Swallows
Summer, yes —
but what else? In one long autumnal gulp
the green irreverence that accrues
over three months of the kind
of beaming lucidity
with such heliocentric conviction.
What delusion, to permit this regret
like frost to pale with frigid dust
your flushed athletic lips,
they tugged to my surfaces. As if the sun
were ever more completely revered: heat
beneath, between, within our
creature bodies given over
How orchidaceous lying glazed in sweat
can make us feel, like whole bodies of lolling
tongues, how open, but of course
we teeter over into wilt.
sometimes in September. And my disbelief
at these soon-white fields morphs to knowing this:
we the pursued are chasers
of weather, and like historians
never fails to estrange us. Circling back to stalk
the year's first snowfall, summer's embers
still hissing in our hearts,
we convince ourselves
this is new —
and those first flakes, in landing, elate like a touch
we forgot we'd ever shivered under, fingers
we thought long past, reaching
back from future summers.