Sharp small lights, wistful
in their solitudes, kiss
at the edges of uncombed
woodlots far back from
this unlit road, landscape
unrolled bolts of just
washed black muslin.

A handful of pennies slung
onto the ragged asphalt,
a copper constellation that
tells some mythic moment
gone awry between mortals
or celestial beings, a cautionary
tale to pay attention to what
could possibly go wrong,
those involved suddenly
not themselves ever again.

Disheveled slight houses
crowd a thin street. Tiny plain
birds whir in empty bushes.
White Christmas lights flicker,
loop over the lower branches
of a stunted sugar maple.

Late February. The day
a freshly sharpened knife blade
flat along her cheekbones.