Nightfall

Blink once
& the gray fox standing on
a stone pile at the edge of the woods
is gone

Blink again
& the trees disappear
the soil & everything in it
leaving the briefest of afterimages
(say biomass
say overburden)

Whatever’s left of the world
gets swept up in the wings
of a drumming grouse
that cellar hole of sound
that palpitation

as if some massive & resilient thing
were suddenly let go from
a great height
rebounding each time
a little less until
what sounds like an acceleration
(nothing but the onrush of inertia)

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