coming up over the hill

then down a chill

into slivered light, a shiver

walking across green, grassy wholeness—

Each step a dislocation of the motion

of the step before—

a fluency

from next to next—

This pattern of being—

the increment wind billowing

coat sleeves and pantlegs, a rhythm

of interruption capable of keeping common time.

Feet commute footpath by heart

asking what arises from a leaf’s fall—

to place illusion of separateness.

The trees freely give up giving leaves

neither wanting the leaves back nor

their soft landing


The leaves’ removals free the principle of removal

from being removed.

Photo by Vincent K. Wong

Jami Macarty writes essays, reviews, and poetry. Jami is the author of The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020), winner of the 2020 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award – Poetry Arizona, and three chapbooks, including Mind of Spring (Vallum, 2017), winner of the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award. “Late afternoon autumn, a trembled alternative” is a poem from Jami’s second manuscript The Long Now Conditions Permit, a finalist for the Test Site Poetry Series.