Leaves bear the colors of death
and resurrection. Promising to return
before the waxwings, before the last snow,
but after the first tick. Always after the first tick.
They float on the river, sinking soon into the world
where nymphs find life. Life with no beginning,
no end. Just a circle like a trout’s mouth
or an old fisherman’s eye.
An old fisherman without a knife
or a creel. Only good intentions, tiny
hooks, and regret. Always the damn regret.
Otters will complete this thing the man began.
Bloody flesh will stain their teeth and fur
with the colors of the fallen leaves.