Before September

In that before-September haze I knew

the birds' names but not their language,

I saw green in the distance while grass 

grew tall and light never lingered. 

Questions catered my moons. Answers

hid between sunbursts. My lips formed

soundless words and glass crunched

underfoot everywhere I walked. 

Nothing sparkled under the skies. 

Even gemstones and feathers in morning 

dew dulled the day's arc, printing

their notes of lonesome protest in rock

shade and tree droop, in acquiescence

in quietude. And then you spoke. 

Robert Okaji no longer lives in Texas. He served in the U.S. Navy without distinction, and once worked in a library. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tistelblomma, Panoply, Vox Populi, Juke Joint and elsewhere.