The gift of death glows through the October afternoon. Nothing stranded in the seasons belongs to eternity. But I feel like a god sitting on my back porch. Only a god would look to the left like this and understand the redness of maple leaves and hear the cardinal shiver in the holly and feel the sun and cold wind sweep through the porch screens and not care what time it is, or what time is, barely remembering when things were different, the azaleas aflame, the lawn a velvet rug, the loved woman wandering somewhere in a poem. And this moment too will end, is ending, the acorns pattering on the roof are saying so with the fanfare of their leave-taking, the gray neighbor dragging her recyclables to the curb is saying so, even the geese calling over the house proclaim I am not a god, no, not a god — but my hearing’s tuned beyond any murmurings, the afternoon stretches on, golden and heedless, and death itself is just half-listening.