I come here
once more
before the year dies
to listen to the sluiced Grand
and watch my breath
steam into the night.
It is my life
turning visible,
blurring the dead leaves
rocking on the water.
One small light
throbs on the river
and all things
are slightly luminous.
The great oak
I squatted under
as a boy
has been shining a bronze mane
in the strokes
of October wind.
It has buried its knuckles
in this place
and will never move.
A strange bird
raises a cry
in its own corner of the night,
a song more earnest
than I have ever heard.
A chill thrills up my wrist.
I am happy,
one heartbeat away
from whatever other
worlds there are.