Variations

Out with my daughter: in a blur of window shopping, we see autumn’s gold; persimmons,
muscats, rust browns— soon mirrored outside, for already the season is shifting.

Summer’s warm skins are sloughing off. Whose chill blade comes nearer? Just as one
issue’s resolved, another appears. Reason can hardly keep up with such shifting.

Listen to this work in two parts— opening with a melodic center, followed by fourteen
famous variations. Each section addresses the theme, even while visibly modulating.

Who has fingers of tensile strength, a heart fierce as a beast’s, the touch of sentiment
light as wings? Expressive declensions demand sacrifice: go deeper than technical shifting.

Five overripe figs remain in the cooler— their purply-green skins like tight sweaters
unraveling. Split one along a seam: sweet lesion slicked by the tongue’s shifting.

The heavy film of dust on each window sill accuses me of neglect: the days have been
languid— we’ve worshipped them like heathens. Chill mornings foretell a shifting.

Come love— Wind stirs the leaves and rain starts its preludes. The world tonight is prismed
with water. A raging flood is not like a Venetian canal, with slender boats gently tilting.

 

In response to small stone (127).

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