Under the Chestnut Tree

What strange light filters through the sex
of a chestnut tree, leaves and catkins
blooming and softly falling, sickly-
sweet smell pressing into the warmth
of thick July. Whatever’s dropped,
I heap into piles and set on fire.
Flames engulf, then slow to a smolder
that keeps the gnats at bay. Smell of smoke,
smell of sex. Sips of whiskey bewitch
shade into dusk the way burnt offerings
lure out stars and lovers.