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All stories, as they reach their end, are sad.
The rain comes; the night falls; Malone dies alone.
With little bites, the pragmatic devours the idealistic.
A bit of ash, a grain of sand; dust blows down the avenues.
Only yesterday the world shook its pom-poms;
roads extended their promise under an azure sky:
here an oasis, there an oasis, fat dawdles in between.
Pulled down from their branches, the hours
were quickly tasted and tossed away. What’s this,
clouds on the horizon, or do you need glasses?
Between the countries of Arriving and Leaving,
no frontier, no change in the weather till later.
The murmuring, unruly mob lumbering behind;
the walls in the morning yellowed by setting sun.
“Stories” from The Day’s Last Light Reddens the Leaves of the Copper Beech, copyright 2016 by Stephen Dobyns, BOA Editions, Ltd.