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At dawn, the shapes of cypresses in fog
were fingers pointing up from graves, as if what’s born
might rouse the dead into an epilogue
of mist that lifted, leaving swatches in whitethorn.


My breath’s the ectoplasm of a ghost
in ringing air. The local churches call
the faithful while I mark the creed of lost
beginnings on the switchback up the hill.

The farmland outside Rocca Ripesena
is a winding-sheet about to open.
The uncut grasses, curled and white with rain,
are loosening to face the sun upslope.

From a bush nearby I hear an unknown whistle,
indomitably upbeat: “Wake! It’s time!”
The birds are in their skeletal cathedral
and I am in my body that’s not mine.

I see a finch perched on a branch’s suture,
hopping into the darkness of the future.

—Andrew Frisardi