We drive through rusty leaves,
around corners, to the orchard,
collecting yellow apples
in whisky barrels.
In bright sunset,
when earth tilts from our doorstep,
we return: you still wear a summer dress,
faux mother-of-pearl buttons
holding up against the cold,
a tropical print of lilies,
a background of palms.
When September leaves its mists
like gauze across the roads,
you change to jeans, a sweater.
The pilot light goes on for good.
We make apple cider
freezing it in bottles
the color of skinned knees.
We'll drink it until April pushes
bluets through fermented rinds
of apples and sour chestnuts:
once rolling off the roof
like footsteps down the stairs that autumn,
they mulch in the familiar,
where April leaves a similar mist
like forgotten clothing,
pressing her naked body on the ground.
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