Burning Leaves

in an instant
the odor of burning leaves
brings you back to me,

standing by the metal cans
where you stirred up smoke
from the cinder-hot
pecan-leaf inferno

singeing some back-hidden
pleasure center of our brains
by sending pungent arrows
of pulsing fire-clouds
up through breath

a cold winter day years ago,
when you were alive and
burning leaves out back
was legal.


Leo Luke Marcello
from his book Nothing Grows in One Place Forever: Poems of a Sicilian American
Time Being Books, 1998

used by permission of the poet’s estate

This poem was catalogued in Poems and written by Leo Mark Marcello. Bookmark the permalink.

About Leo Mark Marcello

Mr. Marcello is the author of four books poetry and 15 Days of Prayer with Saint Katharine Drexel and the editor of Everything Comes to Light: A Festschrift for Joy Scantlebury. He taught at Howard University, for the University of Maryland in Wales, and at McNeese State University, where he held both the first Shearman Professorship in Humanities and the Shearman Professorship of Liberal Arts.

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