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Imagine someday the splurge
drains out of fall.
Holding a melon
you know a creek of light
streams inside its rough burlap ball,
but if you cut it open
you know stars will fall
extinguished in the dark.
You know the quarrel
of the squeaky porch swing,
know the cold that stacks goldfish like knives
will kill them before the winter’s over.
And you can’t not think
about your friend, who leapt
from the Ferris wheel
of months too soon,
before it came full circle.
Suppose your sixty summers
dull the summer sun,
blow fuzz across the lens.
Maybe night comes sooner
and more chill,
but it still brings luminaries
as if gathered for a cause.
They bend, surprisingly,
the generous stars,
laying their hands together
in applause.

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The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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