it was the hooded-sweatshirt, sit-close-and-pretend-you’re-cold, bleacher-seat,
whiskey-and-coke homecoming that you never had when the leaves changed.
but the leaves changed anyway.
the damp grass smelling vaguely like your fireplace as the world got quieter,
your nose in your precalc and your foot tapping and how-many-years-left
of solo fridays, you counted the suburban stars but didn’t tell anybody
how ******* beautiful they were above your head, because they were yours.
when you wore your high school colors, you were cold for real. no pretense
in your shivering, no flutter in your abdomen because he wasn’t gonna talk to you,
and you didn’t really care, you shrugged. but the leaves changed anyway.
and you changed, slowly. grew taller and smarter and prettier and then the
remaining solo fridays shrank to none, and you left. big sweet snowdrifts turned to spring
and you shared whiskey-and-coke with the city, your stars dimmer but abdomen
finally fuller, and limbs warmer and no sweatshirt because you didn’t need one,
and hands all over to hold and feeling all three kinds of love at once.
and then the accidental homecoming, and the changing of the leaves
and the hooded-sweatshirt shivers and knowing you’re so much bigger now than the
suburban stars and the backward glances of the bleacher-seat kids, but the damp
grass still smells like your fireplace and suddenly you’re small again, just for a
second but god that second, you shiver and turn around again. you’re so much
bigger than this but homecoming, this whiskey-and-coke homecoming still isn't yours.