This is how it always begins: our footsteps trounce the dry paper of fallen leaves and then
the silence. I want to pin you against the foliage, paw at the curves of your sweater and inhale your hair, burned through by the sun. You'd taste like bonfires and hayrides and warm, like cider. The world now, in the throes of harvest and end times, seems inundated with last-stand passion. Fruits grow desperately ripe, leaves desperately bright, and I
desperately wanting. You say, "Penny for your thoughts?" or something equally nonchalant and I laugh quietly, ashamed. I blush and shake my head, the last wisps of desire floating
away. Eventually you'll come around to telling me about him. How far you've come this year, what plans you've made for the next, what the holiday season will bring, who's doing what with their lives. I'll insert comments of understanding and attention at the proper moments, ask scattered questions, throw in a witty observation or two. I do this without thinking because
my thoughts are somewhere else. Because
you are who I've always wanted, who I've always wanted to be and be with, the creature against whom all others are measured, the object of my most wanton passion and if it would make the slightest difference,
I would call you by your true name. But, while I'm drunk with desire and need, shuffling along in the gold and crimson of a raging autumn afternoon, you turn to me like you always do and say, "We should really do this more often. Why do we only ever get together in the fall?" And I
blush and shrug in disbelief, wondering what strength it would take to contain a desire this voracious in more seasons than one.