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.