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.

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