Gray Halloween, 2016

“…an ashen sense of awfulness…the realistic drabness of a gray neuralgic day…” — Nabokov

They almost look like grapevines,

the flimsy green leaves

of some summer dream

curling around the gray axis

of this cold Halloween.

But they’re dying poplar leaves

from some Western pioneer spirit

in a sky gone gray from autumn storm,

clouds flattened like wonderless words,

the mountains still looming rawly.

The grayness really is that tragic,

its dead, pervading hue

from the sky’s nerve burned out,

the coarse smell of an election

that has cost America its integrity.

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