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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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