October Sonnet

—after Ted Berrigan

Even on the 13th floor of a high building, Chicago’s 
wind winds its slick way through any unsecured 
window on its singsong to the lake. It’s fine-tuned, 

perfectly pitched in this sinister season 
of cackling jack-o’-lanterns & candy corns 
nobody eats unless they’re the last sweets left.

Bags of fun nonsense for all the little ninjas 
& ghosts. It’s true, I weep too much when 
the seasons partition: snack-sized tears dropping onto 

tear-sized leaves swirling in the autumn 
of my reproduction. Occasional receipts & parking 
tickets, too, yellowed during their own windy migrations. 

Like the rest of us gusty apparitions, every 
untethered thing ends up at the lake shore seasonally. 

Copyright © 2023 by Adrian Matejka. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 24, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.