Leaving Behind


There are nights in autumn in the
rain leaves giving up the final ghost
shadows dressing themselves for sleep
in the greater bed


when my body steps away from me and
builds its own kingdom of closed doors
and windows and drives its great
length of blood through a different


night secret paths taking no orders
from inconsequence of mind
and I witnessing this from distance
too great to measure by the thin


wand left knowing only the empty
threads of me wandering in moments
shorn of the reassuring clock
remembering the warnings of grandmothers


by the hearth in narrow rooms their
voices whispering of phantoms clad
only in air telling of dead blooms
and fickle spring promising no end


and I walking now in the weightless wind
of myself unable to make even a simple
fire by which to see, send urgent signals
to mocking flesh wanting nothing


of me, not even remembering our
pale union, our mindless revels.

Doug Bolling

About the poet: Doug Bolling’s poems have appeared in Georgetown Review, Poem, Blueline, Mid-America Poetry Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Nexus, Waterways, Plainsongs, Birmingham Poetry Review, Good Foot, Muse & Stone, Comstock Review, Minnetonka Review, Crab Creek Review, Italian Americana and River Poets Journal.