puzzle together

when i find the leaf that might be birch that is two shades of brown divided down the central stem with an arch of diamonds cut into it as if it were a paper-cut snowflake i made when i was seven,
and i hold it up to my eye to peer through the holes
and see the moon waxing
three quarters full
rising between
the black locust branches

when i place the leaf on the kitchen counter and ro picks it up and examines it for a while, says I got it! and puts the puzzle together

how the caterpillar – bug – insect – must have gnawed its way through the leaf while it was still all curled up and small in the spring, and then the leaf grew
and changed color
and died
so months later
i find it on the path
looking like
art
for me to look through to the moon

light at the back

when in the dream my sister disappears from the station and leaves without me for the train, and i am still at the ticket counter, emptying my pockets, scrambling for a photo id, and i can’t find my red backpack, no not that one, i say to the lady at the desk, almost in tears when she offers assistance, and then i am yelling
at everyone, and i am late,
for the train.

as many colors in spring as there are in fall, someone in the circle says and I find myself nodding, agreeing, especially aware of the reds and pinks and whites and greens and soft hues of colors i didn’t know were different from each other until they popped up side by side a few weeks ago.

sitting next to all the seedlings at the living room window before bedtime,
parsley
rainbow chard
mixed greens
pickling cucumbers
and
black plum
tomatoes,
talking to nd and kw about death and
dying,
feeling the tang of raspberry sorbet still on my tongue
and the intensity of the
overhead light at the
back of my eyeballs.