by Matthew Travieso Williams —

Fall recalled the heat of summer,
the stroke of sun fell heavy as a fist.
Walked the path behind the kept hedges.
In the chain-link, a hole was rent
to permit a man on hands and knees.

Read your message again:
My wife’s in Monterey. Meet me in the field
behind the park. I’ll take you for dinner.

Tender-palmed, crawled through bur clover
into filaree, wild radish, wild oats, and foxtail. All gold
and one incendiary touch from ash.
Hugged the fence and met strangers’ backyards:

a sterile pool become fecund with a scum of fallen leaves.
a girl leaping from a swing set, her parachuted skirt.
a busy cloud of flies attending the unclaimed
fruit broken beneath an apple tree.


A few branches arced over the fence.
I stole into the bank of shade.

Matthew Travieso Williams is a Sacramento native currently serving with Peace Corps as a TEFL Instructor in Mongolia. His work has appeared in local Sacramento publications—PoetryNOW, Medusa’s Kitchen, and Calaveras Station—as well as Collective Fallout. When not writing or reading, he enjoys pretending that he can play musical instruments and singing so loudly that annoyed neighbors bang on the walls.