Photography by Adam Coleman

we’re in the elevator

falling

floors away

from summer

in the next room,

where September

spins on a loom,

a half-held moon

catches our smile

sleepy-eyed,

beneath a cool sky

that starved our speech

and fed our laughter,

we did not kiss.

in autumn,

I break the bat

just stepping

to the plate

I have always been this way.

the air smells like beer

and wet dirt

and winter hats

and plaid shirts

and sex on first dates

Indian summer’s sweat remains.

on the phone a friend leaves me a message

“I want to be balanced and right-sized,” they say.

Yeah.

another says,

“The only expectation you can have of another adult is that they will express their wants and needs.”

another hugs me and tells me she’s just been engaged.

a burning man proposal.

giddy and scarfing 2am pizza,

we slop up tequila

we are school children

writing desires

in one another’s diaries

fools for that warm feeling

before that

therapy,

where my therapist says,

like a Cheshire Cat,

“it’s a good time. You feel sturdy.”

I look down at my cold feet.

I keep them moving.

Yeah.

This.

That.

This.

A salted wound that only swimming can fix.

I am satiated by my solitude.

I am nourished by friendship.

my thirst is quenched by our art.

The worries of our world roll,

ache

pull

at me

and / if / but

I talk to god

and listen.

I want for nothing.

103 on a September day,

the sentiment remains—

I fall

at my knees

for fall.

for the first time

in my life

I want to fall in love

slow-ly

bite by bite

piece by piece

marked by canines—

lover’s teeth

I want to be fucked

reckless

right there

in the g-spot

of my mind

and in a body

the loyal kind.

let’s get this out of the way—

I’m walking the pony

back to the barn each night,

I’m leaving the pen door cracked

giddy up if you need to go

I’m taking the long road back

to my place

where the fire’s burning

and handwritten letters

are on the way

ready or not,

fall falls upon us

in spiced leaves

winter weddings

root veggies to roast

cinnamon

on toast

my mouth falls open—

a dog salivating.

in the soil,

the scent of the harvest.

walk don’t run

to the table,

I hear myself say,

I’ll sit like a lady,

but I won’t close my legs.

in an October sky,

I spy with my little eye,

the shape of discernment.

what of this bounty shall I choose to eat

what of myself shall I choose to meet

what of compulsion will take a seat

this time.

I once nursed a wound

that came round in September

thought I’d never be the same

and I was right

to think that love

could only mean

spring.

a time I fell so hard I splat my teeth.

I was mistaken.

warm irony,

I once believed

it was a chore

to touch me

somehow

somehow

somehow

I’m still standing

breathing

hard.

rounding toward knockout,

I want to savor this.

the way my name

sits like gin

on a bottom lip

a smile riding cheeks

a metronome,

sweet

sweet

sweet

come here, baby

nice and slow,

come here

and kick in my teeth.

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