by Lee Slonimsky

This is the perfect moment, autumn’s core,
when leaves like lemmings crash to forest floor;
so many, all at once, that hazy noon
looks red and orange streaked. You watch in awe
as if they’ve got a date book, had it planned.
It’s nature’s clock, you think. Then winter, soon.

Your recognition’s like hourglasses’ sand,
those seventeen year cicadas, slow oak rings:
a counter’s deep within us all. Some pulse,
explicable by common origin.

Yet over there, bright green, a leaf that tells
of eccentricity. Mutation. “I.”
As if in affirmation, leaves go still.

Albino rhinos. Birds that never fly.

Lee Slonimsky’s work has appeared in Best of Asheville Poetry Review, California Quarterly, The Carolina Quarterly, Measure, Mudfish, The New York Times, New Ohio Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Phi Kappa Phi Forum, and Poetry Daily, and has received seven Pushcart Prize nominations. A chapbook co-authored with poet Katherine Hastings, Slow Shadow/White Delirium, was published by Word Temple Press of Santa Rosa, California, this past September. Lee’s fifth collection of poems, Wandering Electron, will be published in 2014 by Spuyten Duyvil Press of New York City. He is the co-author, along with his wife, Hammett Prize-winning mystery writer Carol Goodman, of the Lee Carroll Black Swan Rising trilogy (Tor Books). The final installment, The Shape Stealer, appeared earlier this year. Lee manages an SRI (“socially responsible investing”) hedge fund, Ocean Partners LP, which takes a special interest in companies with hiring programs for the developmentally disabled.