Frost warning

Every night I rehearse for some possibility
of shattering: for the temperature to drop,

for the crops to crackle over with ice;
for clustered leaves, womb-like and whorled,

to heave out their purpling, waterlogged
hearts. It isn’t just ruin: some things

just get heavier with time. Season after season
tunnels into the next, the way a drift follows

the veins in bedrock. Hear the matriarch
shift in her bed, slight as a sheet of dry

tobacco. Indoors, in the stilled hallway, a clock
measures the remaining hours before circling

back around to the beginning. I can think
of sounds to match these constant cinemas

of undoing: a string twanging in a doorway;
crickets; the ivory percussion of bones.

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