August and already
the birch’s rustling
is autumnal, transposed
to a lower key.

All my life I’ve wanted
to be the high soprano,
summer’s voice warbling
in the tree’s crown,

not the mezzo’s darker singing
in the air just below.
Some things can’t be helped.
That snow comes early.

That difficulties arrive
in any weather, time passes.
Bach, knowing this, tuned
his keyboard to make

pleasure from leaning into
dissonance, then leaning away,
the shape of sorrow
relived, sorrow relieved.