Buds unfurl leafily, then—wind-shuffled—
one briefly hangs between another leaf
and the sun. The sibling saw-tooths it, and so
begins a mutual grating—without, it seems,
revelation until a breeze shows pity, saws it
at the stem, bringing together, without a branch
between them—two ends—street and leaf.
You watch a leaf in ravishing reds and purples
skip through thoroughfares—plummet while
pitching, reflexively sawing back at the wind.
If hit by a car, it rises again, never more alive
and growing in destiny. With serrated edges,
the leaves en masse, like shuttling blades of a sickle,
saw off autumn, not neatly in sections
of town square or lawn that plunge straight down
through earth’s core to seed spring to,
of all places, the Indian Ocean. Instead the season
grinds to a close—gradually. A deep down
in the leaf’s skin, tawny and paper-thin,
perceives that huddling for winter’s cold whistle,
they’re a part of each other—with autumn’s end filled—
leaf reflections dancing, while around
a bonfire we loft cocoa and marshmallows and feel
leafy too, our faces, emblazoned shadows.