displaced 1520 1387 Madeleine Corley

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.

Header photograph © Sarah Huels.

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