A Poem by Thomas John Nudi
I can only write poems in October
when shadows of mailboxes
trash yet to be collected
and family oaks point to each other
When Fall is hard on the acorns
beneath my feet, that split and crack
like the skulls of scrub anoles
mapping their suicide across my path.
Bodies with no patience
wait for something to pass
before running home
where roots are dying, roofs browning.
I can only hear steel guitars and
mandolins when Death spreads
across branches to seasonal aisles
in leftover Kmarts, in small towns.
I’ve heard everybody dies
in the Summer, but I’ve only known
birthdays, and weddings, and
mosquitoes overrun sprinklers.
I’ve known of Budweiser and
sand castles made from buckets,
Vitamin D from the sun. The lizards
continue to pass, no matter.
I only want whiskey when it doesn’t
rain, and I only want a cigarette
when the air bites, and I want
to write a poem.
This is a poem, but not
when the stars are out, it might be
but only when the dirt is cool, only
until I burn the tree.
I only want to write poems about
autumn, whiskey, and cigarettes—
things that die, and life spent.