hour 12. 8:10 PM.

It is autumn.
It is cold.
It is 48 degrees Fahrenheit outside,
paired with winds of 12 miles per hour.
We are outside.
I don’t know why.
You wanted to take a walk.
I wanted to cuddle,
maybe sleep.
But I gave in, and you
dragged me out into a
canvas of soft deaths.

I like autumn;
I wear my beloved trench coat.
You don’t like autumn;
You say it is too cold for you.
Right now, you are wearing
one of your thick parka jackets.
An evergreen one.
It is a stark contrast to the carotenoid shades
of the dying leaves that drift past your shoulders.
The leaves die whispering, and
The wind brings the words to our ears.
The leaves do not lie.
I hope we will be evergreen, too,
but it might be too cold.

I know it is cold, and that
I should keep moving, but
I have stopped walking,
just for a moment, just to
quietly appreciate how attractive you are.
All mine.
I take a picture of you,
kicking at the leaves by the curb.
Autumn is a time to respect the dead.
The living breathe, but dead leaves don’t.
Does temperature affect breathing?
I think 48 degrees Fahrenheit is too low.
The 11th Edition of Campbell Biology says
it reduces enzyme activity in cells.

It takes some time, but
I finally think of something to say.
“I can’t be-leaf I got myself someone so hot.”
Your face flushes, turning a light crimson.
I feel myself smile.
My heart softens.
My chest feels a bit warmer.
We are surrounded by warmth.
Dead leaves hold warmth in their colors.
The leaves continue to fall.
Dead bodies are not warm.

You pull me along;
We continue walking.
It is silent for some time
until you speak.
“Is your name Autumn?”
You toss a leaf at me.
“Because I think I’m falling for you.”
Your boyish grin appears as I laugh.
Then, you laugh.
Then, I continue to laugh.
It is really 48 degrees outside?
Your presence makes me feel warm.

We continue to walk.
The world continues to turn.
The sun pours its golden hour upon us.
The colors around us shine just slightly brighter.
The leaves are dying in pianissimo.
Their murmurs don’t go unnoticed,
We just choose not to listen.
The leaves continue to fall—
one settles in your green hood.
It is cold, but I am enjoying the walk.

You make more puns and horrible jokes.
I keep my hands in the pockets
of my trench coat. You do the same,
with your own parka,
but your left hand somehow slips
its way into my right pocket,
and weaves its way
in between my fingers,
drawing me out of my shelter.
I do not mind.

It is cold, but with you here,
48 degrees Fahrenheit
and winds of 12 miles per hour
feels a bit like summer and home to me.

The leaves are falling
between our silence,
filling up our world
with the beauty of death.
After all, nothing gold can stay.
I wear my trench coat.
I hold your hand.
I lose myself in the moment.
I cannot bear the thought of not having us.
I listen to the murmurs of the dying leaves.
I wonder if they tell half-truths.
Are half-truths better than whole-lies?

It is autumn again, and it is cold.
I wear my trench coat.
I take a walk.
I lose myself in the moment.
I think the same thoughts.
I wonder if nostalgia is a good thing.

I think the leaves are trying to give me advice.
They say there will be nothing to fear when a heart turns to gold.
How does one tell them that nothing gold can stay?
How does one tell them that only the gods have ichor in their veins?
How do I tell them that I still bleed red?
They must have been telling half-truths.

Autumn this year
feels much colder than it was last year.
I think it was warmer when you were around.
I think it was warmer because you were around.
I think I miss you and your warmth.
I guess you can finally say that our love is six feet under.

I wonder if that is the reason why
48 degrees Fahrenheit
and winds of 12 miles per hour
feels more like winter this year.

hour 11. 7:52 PM.

i’m sick of waking up
at 3 AM in the morning
with your name on my tongue.
it tastes like you,
but with a hint of a bittersweet goodbye.
the darkness of the shadows
lurking in the corner of my room,
under my bed, next the windows—
they all laugh at me.
they jeer at my unease,
at my endless tossing and turning,
and at the random lyrics
that blurt from my chapped lips.
i’m sick of humming stupid love songs to myself
under the moonlight, because love
is just another wolf in sheep’s clothing,
and gods, i don’t know what i’m doing.
it’s almost 8 PM and i really need to do something
to take my mind off of you,
but somehow, everything i do
just reminds me more of you.

i’m so sick of this.

hour 9. 5:01 PM.

Paris does not seem as bright anymore,
Not since you left me hanging, all alone.
My heart tore a bit as you slammed the door
And left me crying at home, all alone.
Now, I sit, thinking of your jet black hair,
The twitch of your lips, the spark in your eyes,
The once-filled space of your bags on the stairs,
Everything I lost on that July night.
Sunrise and sunsets are not as lovely,
Dull grey pastels are now what we called clouds.
The walks in the park make me feel lonely.
L’oublier,” the leaves whisper far too loud.

Tais-toi,” I say, “I still love him, tu sais?
Just leave me be, s’il vous plait, just today.

hour 8. 4:34 PM.

do people even read anymore?

i remember staying up in third grade
using the brightest flashlight in the house
flicking on the switch and hiding under the covers
and jumping into the world of percy jackson.

do people even read anymore?

it’s such a shame that so many people of gen z
don’t read paper books anymore. like, come on!
they’re cradling their kindles and ipads
and other are just looking at sparknotes.

do people even read anymore?

for real, guys, you’re missing out. i’m gen z, too. i get you,
but seriously, there’s nothing like the feeling of sitting on the couch
and enjoying a cup of tea with a real book, be it fiction, nonfiction, whatever.
just put your phone away for a minute and try it, please.

do people even read anymore?

i’m hoping the answer is yes.
i hope that you’re hoping the answer is yes, too.
i’m hoping that the answer is actually yes.

hour 7. 3:48 PM.

what’s on your mind?
what did I do wrong this time?
why are your hands shaking?
why is your voice breaking?

you’re saying something about a mistake…
i’m so sorry, what’s the mistake that i’ve made?

please, why are you crying?
here, let me wipe away your tears…
did i do something wrong again?
i promise, i love you, i swear…

wait, why are you shaking your head?
why are you telling me to shut up?
okay, okay, i’m listening, please,
drink this for your hiccups.

you’re showing signs of a long lost lover.
you’re saying, you had one too many drinks.
you’re brushing the cigarettes off the counter
as you pour the Budlight down the sink.

you won’t meet my eyes,
you’re pulling away from my hand.
the confession from your lips
makes me wonder why i trusted you again.

hour 6. 2:56 PM.

I’ve known you for three years
and loved you for two.

Do you really expect me
to act like I never knew you?

I’ve known you for three years
and loved you for two.

I can’t just go and forget
all the things I loved about you.

hour 5. 1:09 PM.

My father said I have my his will of stone
and my mother’s heart of gold,
with my grandmother’s powerful words,
and my grandfather’s pride, threefold.

My ancestors’ stories tell legends so old,
their stories of sorrows will fill you with woe.
If you under their words, then
you’ll understand why they define me.

If you open your mind
and listen so closely,
you might also hear my stutter
when I tell you my story.

My words, they tell history,
and history does not lie.
So if the truth’s too much to bear,
I’ll stop to draw a line.

My family was not rich,
We grew up by the sea.
My grandpa was a fisherman,
and my grandma sold cheap tea.

But in my younger mind,
my father was a prince.
My mother, the fair maiden,
that my father had to win.

My parents had to work their way up,
and in America, they were rich.
They had leather bags and leather seats,
and granted my every wish.

But when I turned ten,
the truth became clear.
We were hungry, tired, and poor.
and I knew my parents were scared.

When the scandal hit the papers,
our name became a curse.
The day my father started smoking
was the beginning of the worst.

It drove my mother crazy,
and she found peace in illegal highs
until she took too much,
and went beyond the sky.

I’m sixteen years old
and my name’s in the news.
They call me the only daughter
of Cupertino’s dirtiest two.

They only see the bad,
I wish they knew the truth,
about father’s charity,
and what my mother used to do.

I wish they opened their eyes,
the way I hope you’re doing right now.
I wish they would understand
that my father never wanted this crown.

My name is a heavy burden,
but still, I’ll carry it with pride.
It’s made me walk a little slower,
but it will never break my stride.

hour 4. 12:02 PM.

people like us
don’t get to say goodbye
we don’t have the time to do so
and if we did, i’m sure
we would be doing other things
that we would consider more important
like making memories on balconies
and watching sunsets on beaches
and dancing in the dark.
and we did do those things,
until we ran out of time
and ended up back at square one
in algebra II honors,
learning about how to add imaginary numbers and
how to make the boy two tables over
on the corner seat facing the board
fall in love with you without
breaking your heart to pieces
like when I swung the bat too hard
in fourth grade and did that exact thing,
but with your window.
looking back, i guess
i never really learned anything in that class
other than the fact that
a distance of two tables
could really feel like two light years sometimes.

hour 3. 11:32 AM.

I would’ve traded my heart
for highway flowers
and endless summer.

I wanted us to just
lie with sunflowers
and waste all our hours.

You didn’t need to do everything that you did.
I never liked grandiose gestures.
For your next girl,
I hope that you love her.
If you do, just remember:
it’s the small things that count.