Seasonal without Spring: Autumn
When I woke for school the next day the sky was uniform & less than infinite with the confusion of autumn & my father as he became distant with disease the way a boy falls beneath the ice, before the men that cannot save him— the cold like a forever on his lips. Soon, he was never up before us & we’d jump on the bed, wake up, wake up, & my sister’s hair was still in curls then, & my favorite photograph still hung: my father’s back to us, leading a bicycle uphill. At the top, the roads vanish & turn— the leaves leant yellow in a frozen sprint of light, & there, the forward motion. The nights I laid in the crutch of my parents’ doorway & dreamt awake, listened like a field of snow, I heard no answer. Then sleepless slept in my own arms beneath the window to the teacher’s blank & lull— Mrs. Belmont’s lesson on Eden that year. Autumn: dusk: my bicycle beside me in the withered & yet-to-be leaves, & my eyes closed fast beneath the mystery of migration, the flock’s rippled wake:
Andrés Cerpa, “Seasonal without Spring: Autumn” from Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy. Copyright © 2019 byAndrés Cerpa. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.