piles of leaves

i learned color this autumn for the first time
looking up at the long-legged mountains as they
blushed. every tree undressing for the cold.
i used to have a pair
of my grandmother's orange gloves. she was a tree.
i cut the fingers off. they still smelled
like rose & cigarettes no matter 
how many times i washed them. my mom had asked
"do you want any of her clothes." none of them fit me.
again, she was a tree.
today, i saw a dead tree in the forest twisted 
among the living ones pretending 
to still have leaves. my hair is turning
red & orange & yellow. the dead tree
was putting on a good show. all the leaves
are dead or dying. soon they will be brown
& coiled like dead spiders.
i killed a spider by accident below
the sink. i wanted to see him 
grow old with me. around here,
people say, "the leaves are turning"
& "the leaves are changing." 
i imagine those words used for people.
my grandmother turned. my grandmother changed.
i knew little about here
so this is not an elegy. burry me soon
just up to my ankles. i would like
to be a tree too. it is already starting.
i pluck red red leaves like scabs
from the insides of my thighs.
unlike us, the trees crave 
the naked cold. in january, through 
a early snow, they will forget
they ever had gloves. for now,
i have piles of leaves to wade through.
sometimes the leaves become
dead people's hats & dead people's gloves
& dead people' houses & dead people shoes.
autumn is not only about ending
but also the pageant there.
the dead tree laughs like a hyphen.
my grandmother's gloves in the pile.
i'm sweeping the leaves carried in
on the bottoms of my shoes
from my hall each night
to make a pile just for myself.

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