seven months’ summation

spring leads you to rivers & hills cascading trees, shopping malls & hot, split asphalt, chocolate mouthfuls & gin kisses, a bed with a body (warm).  summer is a languid sticky-taffy-stretch of yellow & blue, the way triple-scoop ice cream melts down the cone: that boy, the fan whirring from the window, your tanning, freckling bodies licked with sun.  summer, an opal flash, a cooling stone, a campfire dwindling in the damp night.

then fall finds you.  it walks you home, naming each river passing: susquehanna, clarion, allegheny lulling in your front yard.  you settle into a bedroom once stuffed with bear skin rugs, squirrels mounted to hunks of soft bark, deer heads with glassy black eyes, & you tuck your things quietly away, into crevices your silence left at sixteen, seventeen, between the girl you were (stolen cigarettes half-smoked at the window, razorblades tucked in jewelry boxes, notebooks fat with poems) & the girl your mother wished you to be (fairies, pink ceiling fan, wooden alphabet blocks spelling out your name).  the girls of your youth leave no room for the girl of your present, & so you parse her into confetti-size pieces to hide under the bed, in a sock drawer, behind a cabinet door.

shh.  shimmer, disappear.  shh.  your life quiets into a flat line, as if you were not there: ever, at all.  shh, shh, as fall tucks you into a bed of leaves, you who were never anything at all.



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