Nights Mutable as Water Revise Themselves into the
   Shape of Our Extravagant Past

   (reprinted by permission of Southern Illinois University Press; "Nights . . ." previously
    appeared in

so that even the mildest gesture
astonishes, just as this night's fickle
snowfall startles the ripening orchard,

throngs of Cortland dwarfs, rimed
in silver, curving their slim branches
to dark earth. Trailing our rockiest

good intentions, that slipshod
cortège of poor elections and risky
marriages, we hurtled, breakneck,

toward a future dubious as any history
text. And maybe we were liars,
crooning blue lullabies as we battled

for purchase, ambitious for anything
costly, even these small moony apples—
charming but wrong.