The Quarrel by Paul Blackburn

Dried green leaf on the door
Blackened leaf below it

Under that a metal leaf, blackened also
Below that the leafy ace of clubs

Outside the window the tree I thought a friend
has undressed all its branches & is ugly to me

Returning home defenseless
even a stray dog barked at me
I could not even declare my love to him
much less my innocence. Branches
of frozen breath writhed from both our mouths
into the air.

Even the room is cold
& here I sit and stare
& barely move

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