In the city where no one wants to settle,
we stay through the winter.  It’s summer again
and another autumn coming.  The flies die

and come to life, like many of us here.
Someone has been picking the tomatoes out
of the garden before their time.  Day by day

we wonder if our time has come.  We get ready
to leave.  We gather the fragments of the ground
and decide on what we can make of them. 

Earth and porcelain with terra sigillata,
sand, glass, straw, flecks of yellow and cinder. 
What we don’t know is that months from now,

something will call us back to the city just as
we are leaving.  We become objects picked up
by the wind, circling over the fields, over the lake

cold with rainfall—earth and porcelain, sand,
glass, straw.  The leaves fall over us again,
circling the city as if there is nowhere else to go.

“August” from SEDIMENT (c) 2009 by Sandy Tseng. Available on this site by permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.