By: Maxine Flasher-Duzgune
It was fall in Tompkins, the leaves of the Sweetgum and Gingko unveiling a 9 o’clock gold on their undersides. And my lens refocused on the beautiful dancers in the trees.
What makes the wind blow down my throat when I remember what happens next but cannot utter it into your ear? I am hanging so close beneath the bubble your shirt makes, your belly a canvas for the flickers between boughs.
What makes you sigh when I am beautiful? Is it because you lose the words to the wind? Because I lose you with the words when you sigh and I quiver a little inside the autumn lamplights, like tinker bell inside the captain’s glass menagerie.
So what makes you grab on above me when you know I will always be below? Your wintry hands chill my face white while it is still golden, your sweater crystallizing my heart with an unremitting cold.
How high does it go—this branch—till you cannot hold on? I sigh a golden sigh so you will come down and greet my tiredness with joyous exasperation. And I blow steam on your glasses till your clouded eyes break down and you come down, smiling inside my labored breath.