Are you desolate or free,

shedding parts of yourself?

Clutching your canopy 

until its vibrancy dulled 

into sleepy amber, 

until its luscious frame

withered to papyrus scraps,

until its grip fatigued, 

and, to your canopy, 

the ground looked so wistful, 

heaps of its counterparts 

huddled together in rest. 


Who let go first, 

you or your leaves? 


It must be this loss

that scrapes rings into your base,

a wrinkle for a summer in passing–

each ridge, a memorial 

for the self you had 

let fragment and fall. 


What mournfulness you must feel, 

a body to withstand seasons 

and bearings that wither

once the air grows cold.