Carolyn Guinzio





There are two voices in the leaves arguing


         in the leaves a dark voice


a quiet voice   in the leaves   like a hoof


stomping  bent  in the leaves  straight 


  bent   straight  in the leaves  that sound


when a bird   in the leaves   lifts its weightless


 feet  from the leaves    not weightless but nearly


erasing the border  between body and leaf


  a crashing  in the leaves   from mere ounces


and sycamores  reach horns bleached by


a roadside    horns fallen in the fallen   leaves


shoulder to the shoulder of the November road


hooves in the leaves   the weak feet of vultures


 in the leaves   the sound from the bodies


and leaf-colored clothes  standing   in the leaves


the smell of the wet, dead  leaves  under the leaves


and what is the soul, what stays in   the leaves


or what leaves?  When it’s quiet it will be safe


to leave what I was   in the leaves










Poems by Carolyn Guinzio have appeared in The New Yorker, Agni, Phoebe, Harvard Review, Bomb, Boston Review and many other journals, including E·ratio #18.  Her sixth book is How Much Of What Falls Will Be Left When It Gets To The Ground? (Tolsun, 2018).  Among her previous books are Spoke & Dark (Red Hen, 2012) and Quarry (Parlor, 2008).