Poets for Science
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On a leaf of the sapodilla tree
curled loosely as a hand for the catching

twenty feet off the ground
outside my office window,

two blotches of blood –
brilliantine, lacquer,

courtesy of the resident
red-shouldered hawk

swooping down on the possums
(who wander blind from deck to hedge

in the shifting aura of a tropical dusk)
before lift-off with take-away

for a tree limb with a view –
feather and dry like an old woman’s

lipstick in the clammy air,
slowly turning the pale,

trusting green to the rust
of a premature autumn

as if (in the way of the most casual
eateries) even the freshest of leaves

are put into service as nature’s
sapped paper napkins.