autumn smells of an ashen orange
leaf stretching on its cot of morning dew.
i lift my window for the embers
floating in the air. the Midwest has a kind
nature, the hearth of fields a burning light.
i wonder how many lamps lit the words filling the books
on the shelves at the homes of the ghosts of these streets.
how many trees brush the sidewalks and
how many hands have held their limbs.
my veins are written thin through the sun
as i cover my left eye. honey yellow
taut between my fingers, a zoetrope. i bluster
others to fall, my mouth a cave
stocked with flint and pitch pine.
i scorched my heart in the last house
fire and the ivy went glowing skyward.
if i hit the asphalt now and seed
my skin, scarlet salt will bloom in
inflamed concrete. breathing in
necessity i stoke like oxygen the need
to ground myself in memories i burn alive.
Madeleine Corley is a poet by internal monologue and has a steadfast affection for all things passionate. She has been featured in The Ibis Head Review, Zathom.com, and the forthcoming Anti-Heroin Chic. She currently resides in Marietta, Georgia, but will find a new home in Ireland at year’s end. She loves refrigerator poetry and pointing out flaws in Hallmark movies.