A Girl Named Autumn

Ariana Cisneros

side of the street
Photo Credit: Chris Darling

The autumn leaves
That we saw as we walked
Were baked into your hair
Woven with cardamom
And bleached your eyes
A brilliant gold

I unlaced the tresses
As if each would crinkle and tumble away
The orange coiled around my wrists
Maroon and olive
Licked my elbows and ears
Oven-warm scent of a clove and paprika tongue
Drained into your spine

Maybe you’ll be able to
Move again
By Christmas

Maybe then
You’ll speak again
If the blizzards don’t freeze you
And the long nights don’t shroud you

I’ll introduce you
To mint candy canes
And tinsel
To the woody smell of pine
And to snowball fights
So your cheeks blossom again
Instead of paling,
Tuning pearl and pasty
Little mouth drawn down

You will never taste rust again
Or eat soup on Styrofoam trays
That tired nurses spoon to you
You’ll see color
Staining your feathers again


Ariana Cisneros is a junior in the San Francisco School of the Arts’s Creative Writing program. Email: surfingseahorse[at]yahoo.com

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