My second sestina.


It looked like a harmless thing,
but it was just beginning to teethe
as we held hands, walking through the Fall
upon orange clouds of leaves,
and the noises they made as they would crush
and crunch and cry beneath us.

Warm arm always welcomed us,
and we went in, not suspecting a thing.
You would chew and I would hear the ice crush
hatefully between your teeth.
In the night, I would watch you leave
both of us unwarned of the treacheries of Fall.

In the garden, sometimes, you would fall
in the mud, and it covered you
and served as cold glue for the leaves
in your hair. You were a wild thing.
You let me know by barring your teeth.
Gnashing into my mother's roses, you would crush,

and did, their tiny veins. I watched them crush
through a zoom lens when you would fall
with all your weight on your teeth.
It hurt, and you thought that it was us,
That it was love doing this evil thing
with sharp weapons like the colors of our leaves.

Now, every year, as each day leaves
something like the taste of orange crush,
I lick my lips. There is not a thing
I would change about that Fall
through clouds and mud and into us,
Not even, on my left shoulder, the marks of teeth.

You thought they were, but they were not your teeth
biting me, it was the orange crying of leaves
and the red spring that later followed us,
and they belong to the monsters that nearly crush
us with the anticipation of every Fall.
And though this is a small thing,

Any thing with such sweet teeth
and grace when it falls into leaves
can nearly crush me by mentioning us.

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