All’s Well That Ends

All’s Well That Ends

Gold and tangerine, the leaves float
soft and release their grip, their green.
Milkweed pods swell like the fuzzed
tongues of a punch-drunk pond.
Velvet cattails sway dark and sharp
against swaths of goldenrod.
This brilliant decay, this fever dream
of the senses. My own decline can’t
match this artistry, all my griefs messy,
all my goodbyes caught in my chest.
I twist into blurred colors, gnarled
shapes I can’t unwind. I lift my eyes
to the bluest sky, raise a hand to trace
the lines on my face, a map of each
smile or squint or sorrow, and when
I’m done, a web with no symmetry
or function. Just a caul of memories.
The swift wind hints at winter’s bite,
and squirrels scurry to fill their cache.
But I cannot store the hours—all of this
will end. I can only hope it ends in gold.

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