the summer’s ending

the summer’s ending
i know it
by the little bit of cool
north i felt
blue in your eyes
by the way you’re straightening
into those fall colors
i’m riding past our first day
that will never happen again
and my legs don’t want
to move
so many little deaths already
and only one summer
they’re talking about god
how she stands at the start
and the finish of the race
the stopwatch in her hand
lately i’ve been thinking
it’s up to me
but i know
the giddy intoxication of our hot days
is ending
and i can’t stop it
any more than i can prevent
all those bees dying
their furry little bodies drying up
on the shelf
i can’t stop it
any more than i could prevent
your knee swelling
with bee venom
i know it’s crazy
but i wish i could go back
just for one hour
when the bees were first starting out
their complaining whine above the dry grass
when we looked at each other and knew
how ripe and sweet the summer would dissolve
in our mouths

wendy shaffer


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