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Night thinks it’s crying again

by Kelli Russell Agodon

and I keep listening to a song about autumn
where an apple tastes like longing and every leaf
in the maple tree tries to explain loss
through a series of colors—hectic orange,
indifferent red, a kind of gold that speaks
directly to God or moonbeams and in the dark
as I drive down wet roadways watching for deer
the only things I can see clearly
are the yellow leaves christening
my windshield and I think how we are taught
not to love too many, too much, the night,
the darkness, and I believe I am crying but it is
only rain.

“Night thinks it’s crying again” was inspired by a melancholy drive home in the Pacific Northwest where the air had the scent of fallen apples and deer had been seen on our road. At the time, my mind was questioning the "rules" we make for ourselves and other people in life (some self-imposed, some not). It was one of those times where I was just taken by the moment—how I could almost see myself as a character in a movie who felt a little lost, but she kept driving while still acknowledging the beauty taking place around her.

Kelli Russell Agodon’s fourth collection of poems, Dialogues with Rising Tides, was recently published by Copper Canyon Press. She is the co-founder of Two Sylvias Press as well as the co-director of Poets on the Coast: A Weekend Retreat for Women. Agodon lives in a sleepy seaside town in Washington State where she is an avid paddleboarder and hiker. You can write to her directly at