A Poem by Alane Lim

After the Fall

In summer, the mushrooms and moss
dusted the forest floor in colors
from white to oxblood violet,
singles and clusters
that blossom among the bric-a-brac
here and there with no order to them,
as when gardeners averse
to arrangement toss the seeds
of rose and larkspur towards nowhere,
towards everywhere à la joie de vivre.

You characterized the forest like this,
like the world was streams of magic and ether.
I was skeptical, listening half intently unless it was wintertime;
hot chocolate and cold worked wonders.

It makes sense now, I think. It is autumn.
Here, beloved, I held you last
during that interregnum of warmed seasons,
when cool rains falsified the first fallings of late December.
The ground is paved with leaves, fog, and the fantastical
and I think of the stories I have forgotten already,
as though I ever knew them.

The seasons are no longer strange to me,
though the fall is more wintry than usual.
It is too cold, too cold for my visit.
I will wander the old ways for the last time,
spread a few leaves about as I exit
to create the myths anew again
in an array of orange, yellow, black, and brown.


Alane Lim is a materials science graduate student at Northwestern University, and a published science and satire writer. She has previously taken poetry classes at Johns Hopkins University. You can follow her on Twitter @thisisalane.

The Poetry Section is edited by Mark Bibbins.