April means it’s almost time
to leave. It’s the feeling that
this afternoon like everything
else is escaping me.
A yellow beetle inches upside
down along the edge of my desk.
With each step forward the bright
wing-covers shift from side to side.
I give the desk to it. Get outside
and head down the reedy path
towards the fire pit and the stiff line
of alders beyond, empty except
for their small grey cones holding fast.
Earlier I’d gone the same way
with Aracelis who told me about
the fig tree she’s leaving, behind
her apartment in Crown Heights.
Like I’m leaving this place, its long
skies, its llamas and rusty sumac.
How to account for each small thing
we love and which can’t come with us:
the brown and purple figs, thick
and good. This growing sense
that loss isn’t some inlet we rush
into, then out of, back to normal;
that it’s been there with us, and all we get
to keep is the desire for something
just as good. What if the next
house has creeping bougainvillea,
an avocado tree.