I say hello to November again –
left alone on my doorstep, cracked skin
crying out for summer or anywhere
else in the cycle that would replace
damp ground and little birds
with black eyes circling beneath bushes.
How often I have tried to show love for you,
November; I purge everything until I am barren
and blank, until there is nothing more between us.
I make holy spaces between the tree leaves
and in the gutters, sing gas station hymns
and pray myself sick beneath the blue light
that reminds me my happiness is only artificial.
November, you gut me, raw, I am back porch
providence and ***** sidewalks and streets
where no one was ever meant to live.
I give up in the softest of ways, hide in paint cans
and Styrofoam cups and behind floorboards, but November,
you find me, drag me to places I remain in, stoic –
it is hard to argue punishments that fit so many crimes.
November, you are purgatory, and I am stumbling through
hoping I end up somewhere else, because there is no torture
so acute as stagnant suffering, the waiting, watching the train wreck
in slow motion when I knew about the broken tracks all along.
I am left alone beside the bus stop
in an unfamiliar town, bruised and ugly, with no way of knowing
when this will end. But I am still here, November,
so again, we meet, you, boar of the forest, wild pig with teeth,
do your worst, if that is all that you can do,
sharpen my bones and leave me again until next year.