Sudden Hymn in Autumn
I remember a woman handing me fruit
through my illness.
I remember her hands were thin:
two gazelles lost in a field of clove.
Every time I came back, I heard insects
splitting their cores for slender wings.
I remember a woman they hanged
from the barn’s rafters,
her nightgown blowing toward the pond.
Some boys had wrestled a buck
to the ground, covered him in gasoline.
In the morning someone came
with a knot of black antlers: what he’d found
ten feet high in a poplar tree.
I remember October hunched like a colt
in a suit of black leaves.
I remember hearing him breach the room,
how his heavy tack dragged on the floor,
how I lifted an arm in trust of his body.
Joseph Fasano was born and raised in New York’s Hudson River Valley. His poems have appeared in Tin House, FIELD, The Yale Review, The Times Literary Supplement, The Southern Review, Boston Review, Western Humanities Review, and other journals. He won the 2008 RATTLE Poetry Prize, he was a finalist for both the 2008 TLS Poetry Competition and the 2009 Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize, and he has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He teaches at Manhattanville College and the State University of New York at Purchase.