Autumn leavesI took a walk around the neighborhood

to work out frustration and sadness

in the fall air.


The pace of my feet on the sidewalk and its leaves

got my heartbeat going faster.

Blowing wind against my hair and my skin and my eyes

got my tears going easier.


Thinking of you, and you, and you

got breath catching in my throat

hot and painful.

Worrying about that, and this, and that

got my palms clenching

beside my hips.

Wanting the things I want so hard

got me wanting to scream

and be a mess and not care.


I pictured myself crawling onto a pile of crisp leaves

and choosing one leaf to rip into little tiny bits

until there was nothing more to rip

and then moving on to another

and somehow 15 seemed like a good number in my reverie.


I thought maybe if I ripped 15 of those beautiful dying leaves

until they were no more

and cried enough and yelled enough

there would be some relief at the end of it

and I wouldn’t feel this anymore–

this angst and this pain.


But I didn’t.

I just kept walking because that’s what made sense,

corners of my eyes bruised from impatiently flicking tears away

breath stuck in my chest, just giving me enough to keep moving

thinking of all the yous– both hating and loving

fists clenched as my hips took me where I need to go

and the 15 leaves behind me now

crumpled up and moldy and dead.

And I’m sure there weren’t any answers there anyway.

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