we've turned a corner.
the ghosts and goblins and pumpkin-smashers came out of the darkness, scared and collected treats and got tucked into bed with mouths covered in chocolate. jack-o-lanters no longer protect the porches and front doors lining 1st avenue. instead, trees have been shedding all their leaves in the last few days.
I wheeled my bike out of the bike port yesterday, watching tendrils of my breathe curl in the early morning sunbeams. they lit up the trees like fire
then i noticed how scarce they looked
how bare, how sad, premonitions of the months ahead.
N O !
not yet. it barely felt like the colors were out before they left again. branches black and sharp against the sky. my lungs burned when i biked to the grocery store, ran in, added fall in my basket.
chocolate, both for drinking and eating
hurried home, burst in the kitchen, kicked out the remnants of leftover chinese, and began weaving a web of autumn on the fourth floor. no winter allowed.
batter on my hands, flour on my cheek, dishes steaming in hot water. the air in the apartment weighs down with brown flavors that warm and tingle and you can taste leaves and chill along with the oxygen.
i was putting chocolate on the last of the cookies as you came home. you took in the chaos and laughed, recognizing my motives. then we tasted my pumpkin cookies dipped in hot chocolate, still warm from the oven, licking milk chocolate drizzle from our fingers. Can we tell one more ghost story? walk on the hiking trail before it's lost under gleaming snow? can i tell you about the halloween blizzard of 1991, being pulled around on a sled by my dad, getting bags and bags of candy because no one else braved the storm? can we lay on the ground under the maple trees in the park? i get red leaves and yellow leaves caught in my long hair, and you pull them out and tell me i look like the wood nymph you almost caught last year.
for one more night, I'm going to wrap myself in a blanket, hide on the couch with Ray Bradbury's The Halloween Tree, and pretend that it's still the deep of fall. warm enough for a walk without a coat, layered in knitted scarves and handwarmers and hugs and the twilight of the sun, lighting up the trees littered with remnants of the season.