Curtis Bauer

A Reason for Concern

I’m not sorry that today is

the beginning of fall. I’m

not sorry I can’t

see what floats above New Jersey

or the George Washington Bridge.

Nor that I sat for eleven hundred

miles so I could be here

watching black birds

graze among acorn husks

on my back lawn. The squirrels

wake me and keep me

awake at night. Days

have turned into years,

and I’m not sure I can be pushed and filled

and remain the way the wind moves

the maple leaves, the way the branches

accumulate chattering

black birds, the way these oak trunks

refuse to splinter outside

my windows. I don’t believe

the woman I sleep with

when she tells me I talk in my sleep.

I don’t believe in the language that makes

me want to fall in love

with sounds, in the black birds

telling me I won’t understand, in the squirrels

ignoring me walk down the street.



From the poetry collection Fence Line (BkMk Press 2004)