(Capitol Hill, November)

Behind this row of windows
squared against the snap of evening
air, light nests like coals. Repointed
chimneys plume their hellos. The night
grows soft with satisfaction
and collecting ash. Tracing
the embers’ crack and fall, I do not
feel earthed roots contract; trees thickening
their bark, expecting ice.

When the white coat
of winter splits, what season
will emerge? Spare me the irony
of being sucked dry by thirst.
Let me be poised and patient,
plangent as a guitar. Let me
absorb this golden haze, while day
declines and leaves quilt up cold ground
against the dawn.

MICHAEL H. LEVIN is a lawyer, solar energy developer and writer based in Washington DC. His work has appeared in three collections plus numerous anthologies and periodicals, and has received poetry and feature journalism awards. He recently co-authored a full-length nonfiction book, “A Border Town in Poland” (2021). See www.michaellevinpoetry.com; www.twopianosplayingforlife.org