Winter is an etching,
spring a watercolor,
summer an oil painting
and autumn a mosaic of them all.
And then in the falling comes a rising,
as of the bass coming up for autumn’s last insects
struggling amid the mosaic of leaves on the lake’s surface.
We express it as the season of lacking, but what is this nakedness
— the unharvested corn frost-shriveled but still a little golden
under the diffuse light of a foggy sky,
the pin oak’s newly stark web of barbs, the woodbine’s vines
shriven of their scarlet and left askew in the air
like the tangle of threads on the wall’s side
of the castle tapestry—what is it but greater intimacy,
the world slackening its grip on the veils, letting them slump
to the floor in a heap of sodden colors, and saying,
this is me, this is my skeletal muscle,
my latticework of bones, my barren winter skin,
this is it and if you love me, know that this is what you love.
~Laura Fargas “October Struck” from Animal of the Sixth Day
Something about the emerging nakedness of autumn reassures that we can be loved even when stripped down to our bones. We do make quite a show of lifting our veils and shedding our coverings, our bits and pieces fluttering down to rejoin the soil. What is left is meager lattice.
When the light is just right, we are golden, illuminated and illuminating, even if only barely there.
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