Without compulsion, my finger rises
to my lips, and I pause my wandering. He stands
across the grass, mindful and watching, listening
with ears like vacuums, pulling in sound
from the far reaches of the universe. His fur,
unkempt, rustles in the wind, his suit-vest catching
the dizzying leaves like a sunset. He, like
many others, is late, he mentions without moving.
His ears drop back, inquiringly yet cautious
as if it is I who instills fear. As if I will move threatening
toward him; or perhaps away from him,
like so many others. Perhaps that is why he, brown
like the orangeing sky, stands, forelegs
at his sides, eyes black with sorrow. He's late,
he seems to say again, though no words breach
the windblown silence between us. I know,
I reply, and I'm sorry.
Blades of grass press against my dark legs
as the wind lifts my skirt like the grass, my legs,
toward him without volition. Still he stands.
Always still as if his wife and children are already packing
clothes and small belongings into bags
and walking out the green door, which complements
the brownstone so well (his wife would always say),
like his pants and tie complement his fur. Perhaps
they are already gone as he stands there, across from me.
In the sky beside us, the sun walks its long journey
home, returning to wife and child, and I ask where
are you going. I left a week
to roam, walking through the grass, the autumn
filling me. I left to roam. I, the other one.
Without moving I've reached him, my skin resting
on his foreleg, warm and enveloping, his fur
swallowing my coffeed hand. I left to roam,
he says again without saying. I know, my arms
whisper as my head gently rests
against his blushing shirt, pink in the autumn night.