Rain, Whispering
by KB Ballentine

The tension of summer surrenders,
ruptures as rain trickles in from the sea.
Commas of crows loiter in branches suddenly bare
though hummingbirds dashed south last week.
How do they know sanctuary is over?
That they can no longer squander
nectar in futile bursts of rivalry? This drizzle,
these low clouds foretell the measured freeze
that already begins to shadow us. Daylight shaved
into finer slices as we trip our way toward the solstice,
toward the silence that flows then settles
around us like the sifting snow. The steam of our breath
rising in air bittered by ice, rising like the sound of stars—
feathers brushing the coming dark.

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