Syracuse, October

Fuck the hot autumns of Charleston, fuck handsome
Alabama, fuck the Deep South alcoholics

standing in flannel in the summer sun. I drove north.
I took Green Road to Hubbardsville

and saw October in August, booted men hosing grit
off the park pool’s bottom, crisp leaves lifted

like the remnants of summer’s collective memory.
I drove out or into it listening to the Liverpool Choir’s

mournful version of the national anthem, the tuning forks
of eastern townships bringing a Stravinsky more film score

then symphony. I wanted the blaze of the unmuffled
trumpet, the spin song of the laundromat, a little of the hurricane’s

Guernican remedy in the streeted leaves, in the blooms
of glass from kids breaking fluorescent

light tubes in the spent vocabulary
of an asphalt parking lot. I wanted

October: lace trim of a black dress slumped
on the floor of my birthday, cold skin

and laughter. Little burn on the leaves, little love
declaration; little dull light in the white sky.

From North American Stadiums by Grady Chambers. Copyright © 2018 by Grady Chambers. Used with the permission of Milkweed Editions.