Autumn arrives on the other end of a tracking shot

offering a wide view of a scene

frosted in amber and highlighted with imperial red.

Peach and bittersweet sunsets darken to mulberry on the horizon,

and the nighttime cool mutes stargazers straining to extend

the dissipating moments from a summer they

neither wanted nor enjoyed.

The rust under everything promises the seasonal death

to which we have all grown accustomed,

but that we still ignore, insisting that eleven weekends from now,

things will be different.

(That they always would have been anyway seems to matter little.)

Watching the top branches of trees sway in the breeze, leaves

stretching in vain towards an indifferent sun, a curious optimism

persists, and I think of how we should share fall,

and how easily we could deviate from what we usually

do. “One of these years,” we promise ourselves, and time

stacks up to challenge us.

The significance of the harvest points to all our tomorrows,

but we measure only in the slightest of divisions.

I can always find my way in memory. The map was in a kiss

forged under autumn stars, and it was meant to be seen

by only two people. We read it alone, silent monarchs tracing their fingers

around an ambient kingdom never meant to end, just expand.

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