He saw Guernica in front of him
and knew what falling was in all
its gray grace and white horror.
“Jesus, how they huddle together
like close trees in a savage wind,”
he thought, noticing his phlegm
falling into the acid of his stomach.
By the time he left the museum
dusk was starting to fall into night
and the city was plunging into its
ritual of feasting and sleeping.
“Things fall, break apart,” he shrugged.
“Why am I not surprised by that?
Such an unoriginal thought!”
It had been over sixty years since
he didn’t feel the shattering winds inside,
the pain dripping drop by drop, drop.
The time without it lived in the fog,
It was unknowable, ununderstanable.
Eighty years he hovered in that wind.
At home, he noticed the pine needles
had fallen and the crows were cawing.
The lilacs along the slippery walk had
opened up their black buds to night.
Frost was breaking over the grass and
the banks of the creek had crusted.
The wind leaned against his body,
his limbs and stiffly against his legs.
He stumbled, almost falling, into his house.
The hourly sound of pine cones thudding
on the roof left him irritated, sleepless.
He wished then dreamt of a place
quiet, still and where he didn’t hover,
a field of trees where he was
the only unbroken and still shiny one—
the one not falling, shredding to dust.
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