With dusk’s slow bleed, the scent comes back
from beyond our gate, sickly-sweetly powdering the yard
and its scattered buckets, chalk, decapitated
plastic fauna—how all the bright junk
rushes to the pixelated surface
in the final minutes before remorse
douses the world in itself. High-tops on the phone wire
already mortared into silhouettes, like crows.
Roof rat in the plum tree, synching its intricate listening
with the stop-start taps on my MacBook
ten feet beneath. Wondering what’s taking us so long
to vanish. Its tail pulses from its rich perch
with what I thought I had once—a hunger
so absorbing it becomes, while nothing changes,
its own reward. Some hidden dark
where you could crouch and find a pattern.
While nothing changes; while the scent of jasmine
flutters and drifts, like sympathy, living for itself.