Yesterday I saw the yellow skeleton of a leaf stuck to the sidewalk.

Where are you going, I ask.  You say with irritation, To the store.  For some bread.  Already I’m seeing the tendency of things.  Yes, there’s rebirth, but who cares?  The new leaves have their own lives, and the old, known ones are gone.

I haven’t stopped expecting you.  I hope to find you lying in stale sheets, reading a book on a weekend morning.  Buying too many cheeses, watching Playtime, and complaining that your clothes don’t fit.

There was always more time.  A superabundance, the warm hand of the world held out. In spring the leaves are only ideas, clenched tight as fists in the twigs of every tree.

Almost at once I began to expect you.  You were the paper-slip leaves of the trees, emerging. I believed in you the way I believe in trees, in time, in what I didn’t know but was born prepared to lose.