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Autumn Fatigue + Google Earth

Poetry, Michelle Leal

Autumn Fatigue

Cedar kitchen shelves brim with an arsenal of teapots from Houston’s finest

vintage shops but no genies emerge so I flip my mattress, build a make-shift

shrine out of broomsticks, blankets, and pillows; I pray for second chances.

Body covered in larva, guts growing weeds, so still vultures circumnavigate,

one hundred and fifty hours a week spent lying on the front lawn of the apartment

complex, and trying to melt back into the ground; I dream of you loving me back.

When the bathroom mirrors condensate and leave me without the company

of my own reflection, my mother lifts me from the shower base, wraps me

in a towel, and to this day I bear the sting of shampoo in my eyes every time

I pass the drive-thru because the voice over the speaker sounds like yours

in September, the last time we spoke, before I deleted your number in exchange

for some lax semblance of dignity after several glasses of Chardonnay.


Google Earth

Altruistic draft – a gentle

flux of supple torrents;

shamrock foliage

from a stand of sycamores

dance with nightlife

to the cicadas’ hymn,

rattle when the wind

whispers secrets

of the masses who

misconstrued the absence

of someone for solitude.

I pretend the sole

scintillate in the indigo

empyrean is Polaris.

Soundless lightning

like a camera’s flash;

if Landsat 8 were to capture

me at 2:37 a.m., would

everyone see me for the mess

I am – pink flamingo

pajamas half sodden

in the swimming pool,

cigarette cherry lit,

chipped red polish like

Chile’s national copihues?

It doesn’t matter how many

seas I cross, desolation follows

like a shadow, or a second

skin, or an old friend

I’ve grown too attached to.


Michelle Leal is a Chilean-American writer. She likes drinking warm things. Find her on Instagram


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