Pennsylvania in September

is sunscreen and cinnamon

with zucchini bread

and roadkill on the side.

We wear sweaters and shorts

and go wading in potholes.

Pumpkins and watermelons

are carved with equal zeal

in valleys between lush green hills

that are starting to go to seed.

From the porch, I can hear cows

lowing their farewells to the crickets.


I washed my face this morning

while the sun peeked over the hills

spilling a hazy light over the grass

The roses look a little battered

from the storm, petals like fresh wounds

scattered over a sleepy boxer

I rinsed my cereal bowl

without remembering eating,

daydreams taking the place of awareness

Smoothing my dress and slipping on shoes

ahead of a day full of a bloated calendar

with little room for summer breezes

I think I’m on a track of loss

where I feel millions of others nearby

without touching or stopping to breathe

Sunset was surprisingly fierce,

a reminder of many nights

spent decoding languages,

ignoring dozens of calculations

surrounding me like summer rain,

blowing sideways and with much noise.


I thought it might hurt to look,

so I watched colors run on the wall.

It was like the old shadows we made

and it sounded like a hymn of crickets.

I’ll take mine neat

It wasn’t that long ago

I was spinning in front of a mirror

watching my dress float around me

as my toes ignored the gritty floor,

my hair punched my chin,

my belly jumped like first love,

and I didn’t dare laugh at the magic

as I felt the weight of seasons glancing off

my skin, unlike now when I am wearing

every hot summer day and every deep

winter drift like a cloak and choker

in some sophisticated cocktail party

where I don’t know anyone but I have to

mingle to survive.