Candy Gourlay The 2River View, 7.3 (Spring 2003)

Autumn’s Cool Judgment

And they will hate you, you know,
pronounced with such tenderness,
sanity’s ears listened twice
to make sure they heard correctly.
Salvation's face, not quite
what eyes had expected to find
through lengthening shadows.
They were vipers. Coiled

and small, perhaps even yellow;
smooth stones sunk into flesh
just below insinuation’s brow.
What to make of it?
Caution en route to a place
where you bludgeon the foolish,
hang them with rope
before autumn’s cool judgment.

Forgiveness, a conclusion
leaving words undecided.
Cigarette, a weapon to damage
Lungs’ persistence. I will smoke
myself to death, if it kills me,

cauliflower existence: knowing bears
no resemblance to comprehension.
Life is bad, we agree, as if we don't care.

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