I've compared the backs of my hands
to your scorched leaves, three days now
in air that's thick as infection.
I've hoped no one would catch me
feeling sad for you and myself.
"As if there weren't other trees,"
people'd say, "As if a whole summer
would halt for his peeling hands."
Just give me October, another color.
I'll want you to clash your thin leaves
against blue. I imagine I'll rub
my palms together and pity myself
so shamelessly that I'll pound your bark
and beg you to join my party.
Children and policemen will pass,
the children laughing and pantomiming,
the policemen rocking on their feet, sucking
their teeth. They'll say, "There he goes again."