October bruises the old oak with a wash of paint,
then browns and burns it, each leaf a skewer point.
How many birds beckon over Allston and Kelton Streets?
Feathers burrow into cracks of gold in the stratus,
the furrowed sky. I shift my gaze to a balcony below,
where a woman's finger trails the migration south, and follow
the jagged line it makes. She murmurs something,
muted by my window, to the child on the porch swing.
I weld them a dialogue, suture a script together,
though the words are clipped by traffic, left to gather
on the curb. I'll rake them later. Evening brings a crescendo
of engines, of trolley cars, of siren trills. From my window
I watch the moon rise and the woman and child retreat
to a room without rush hour, a haven over Allston Street.