The rumor lay low in the mountains like fog
On water. In Los Angeles the men
Stand tall, like walking trees in smog,
Where Summer’s branches break, but never bend:
They break, but think they won’t, these Summer men.
Yet Winter, like spilled ink, or falling ash,
Comes down. Unseen there, I see it. Come from
The North, where mountain rumors unabashed
Come down to lower ground, a dying sun
Soft drum rolls in my ear the marching sum.
Dark truth is here, undiagnosed, thought not,
That blemish on the young, that damned spot.