The Adulteress’ Requiem for the Fall by Tana Jean Welch

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