Walk out the front door, the dog tugs
Boyishly at the leash.
I sit at my desk. A breeze
Floats up from Oakdale on the hottest day of the year.
This is the climate of reason.

But in the climate of no reason
I look out the window at midnight.
My mother appears in a red coat, raking the leaves.

Always she wore that coat in autumn,
The tattered wool, the large
Black buttons,
But only to rake leaves.

Why my house was built on the dividing line
I cannot say. Walk out the front door,
Somebody dies.
Walk out the back,
The rabbit jumps out of his hole.

Bedroom in one world, kitchen in another—
You could say it’s always
September here,
Every day the first day of school.

The bus is waiting.
I’ve got books, my lunch,
My gym clothes in a plastic bag.