Priscilla Becker


Your rule has made an August

of October and I am lazy

in my domicile as maple leaves

turn half yellow and forget

the ailing spectrum.


This season there are many

kings; I’ve made a shrine

to orange things, a coterie

of me and three domestic-

leaning cats whose naps fulfill

a mossy genuflection brought on

by molding walls, delays

in evolution.


I thought I saw you drinking from

a branch between the pickets

of a fence, and in two gestures

you define first aviation,

then verticality. And as I wait


for long-diverted patterns, triumphal

browns, the cat’s serene totem

of itself says there’s a lineage

denied me. Still I would like to rule

a small bud too, but I have neither

your erect and glassy wings nor

did I come from emerald shroud:

I drink the milk of thistle, preferring

it to natural motherings.