Autumn, Or More Aptly: Time Lost
Autumn has settled into me with an early-dawned dusk.
Walking is like gliding is like dreaming: a ship cutting
through placid starwaters, silver puddles of silence
upon a pyre. Holding onto an armor of bones, I pace the
residential streets, squares of yellow sunshine beating
back the darkness, glimpses of fairytales featured in
windowpanes. Loneliness defines a person in this city of
butchering love, burns a shadow perpetually onto the
fringe. Falling leaves entangled themselves into my hair,
the stars shone in the distance, broken fragments of glass
in the sky. A wild Cassandra beats in my heart, singing
prophecies to the tune of lullabies. Autumn shows her a
painting of color, and not color itself: the keen death of
time. The hours blossom and fade among the dust motes,
leading only to a history we buried and hoped never
to rediscover. Singing softly (I have to be sure of myself,
in these ghost-scribbled shimmered nights), I start back to
somewhere safer. Before the fortress, the sharp hilt of
memory shoves into a vein. Bricks, metal, smoke, silt:
the enemy breathes yet, in the pores of our defenses.
I walk these streets, and flicker in and out of time,
memories criss-crossing my mind in their jagged edges.
Brownstone buildings loom out in front of me, camera-
flashes to white walls and golden-yellow pools of
lamplight, books in the attic and a cold wind rushing
through my veins. I can't find where these images go, to
whom they belong, whether they are part of life or fantasy,
this autumn-rich landscape of dusty, scarred remembrance.
The city shimmers lightly at dusk, as if it might go out
at any second, but it's okay, because all it does is go out
and come up and tangle itself within these bunches of
neurons, inundate the fragile bones with stone and fire.
Oh, the gentle lap of the lake. Misty autumn memories,
of tea with cream and sweet sugar cookies in a light so
thick and rich I could push it aside, like a curtain. Yes,
somewhere there was music, and somewhere love, but a
delicious sense of loneliness invades this room, a tension
unfurling beyond the windowsill, wafting out into the
night air where that city, my city, hoards time. It collects
museum of anguish, this being of light and sound and
scrubbed-up dirt. In the cracks of the sidewalk, the tree
bark, the alleyways, pain emerges, that special autumnal
fragrance. A brown sweetness, tang of crimson and tears.