The local woman with Tourette’s is outside
cursing our red brick building.
Someone has stirred her up
the way the tip of a finger
can tilt the stack of dishes just enough
to stir the kitchen gnats who buzz
in the color of wounds.
They’ve come in from the cold
and even the woman, in her thawed anger, knows
it’s time to wear a wooly brown scarf, time to swear
at the gods in search of covering.
The leaves have turned,
then cracked. The jack-o-lanterns have spawned
a hoary fungus over their eye-lids.
Even the late mallard has given up
his mossy city pond, his icy water lilies.
And though I’ve buried my own
indiscriminate season in the cold ground,
wrapped my breasts in a Siberian winter shawl
to bid adieu adieu,
the little girl inside is still laughing,
still curling her R’s to say: rescue, rivulet, resume—
always happy under the suffocating sweat
of her plastic vampire mask.
Image By: Scott Robbinson