Central Park, October 2011

I saw an old man grow immensely wise
on a park bench. He took the one closest
to the swinging gate of autumn,
where the largest pile of leaves
stained the ground with amber. I saw his hands
collect the air and tame it. On those cobblestones
he bled his reason. The wind was as heavy as a hymn.
The gusts cracked and split his lips,
the skin parting as if some new word
were being born.
He kissed the turmoil around him and said,
Don’t worry so much.
He had come to take something wild
from the birds gathering at his feet,
a bit of their wayward reach, their lust
for the strangest bits of this world. We are always stranded
inside ourselves.