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Autumnal

On the other side of the lake, along the shoreline, the cut weedsare humped into humid piles like sleepy buffalo. The snow cranes return to the islands and most of them come alone. I love the determined way their heads point into the future and never twist from side to side, their double-chinned gullets contracted into question marks, their feet stiff behind them like lacquered paintbrushes. In the air their bodies are one line and the wind fills the empty pit of each wing. On land they are still as porcelain jars. I see them and I am different for days.