A Thought that Passes
   by Jim Plath Jim Plath

Jim Plath is an author of fiction and poetry. His short stories have most recently appeared in The 3Elements Review, The Telegram Review, and the Monarch Review. His poetry has appeared in Westward Quarterly, The San Pedro River Review, and War, Literature & the Arts. He will obtain his BFA in creative writing this spring from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

I wait in the penumbra of a shedding
oak while foliage shrouds amber grass
with spent life, wreckage in burnt orange
and goldenrod. On pallid branches,
sparrows, meek as streams, trade
farewell songs with autumnal wind.

In the company of ashen, dithering
clouds I am kinetic but unchanging
as a coastline, stripped and clothed at
the will or mercy of the tides. I linger
to warm the air with my breath or skin

but I have nothing—that lasts—to offer.
I am insubstantial as a thought that
passes with its bearer into the dominion
of history and fiction, and so I spell my
name in seeds for the sparrows to carry
southward, to make it strange and new.

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