Three days into December
and suddenly the passion of autumn died.
Leaves that ignited as they soared
with knife like arms and legs entwined
intimately with the wind,
lay like soggy remnants
of burnt poetry in the street.
Long ago I walked to the cadence
of leaf on air
leaf on asphalt
leaf on concrete
leaf on gutter streams,
a river of red and orange.
Now I scrape for color in the predawn,
where the clouds hang from the sky
in bloody strips
I twine orange peels in my hair,
Smear my face with yellow paint.
As the world fades to gray
and the dull brown of decay
I stare gather the remaining tatters of neon,
swathes of brightness lying
like beached whales on bleak shores,
a small solace in the months ahead.