Autumn tastes like midnight blackouts
when you don’t know how or when to navigate
the waters between history and future. You’re stuck
in the palms of the present as you pick scabs
off trees like chipped paint. The waters swallow
you whole into its charcoal wasteland, charcoal
because life’s shedding its last layer of flesh
before packing leather suitcases for a sleep-induced hiatus;
And you’re lost because you don’t remember
why your Ma left the door unlocked before fleeing,
why your Ma’s last mahogany footprints
led to a pile of crippled leaves and ended the trail—
You laughed at the way they were shaped
like bones, cracked infinitely like a porcelain doll dropped.
But you know that you began with a midnight blackout
as your parents kissed until their bones were numbed
by too much silence in one measure, you know that
their oxygen tasted like expired sesame oil with the stench
of wanting too many things. And when the curtains
slid open they saw windowpanes showered in
autumn’s humid breath; that’s where you began.
And you know that your faded leftover chapters will end
just the way it began—with a midnight blackout
and a native blessing from autumn.
Angela Yoon is a student living in Seoul, South Korea. Published in the Claremont Review and DoveTales, and forthcoming in others, her work has won international writing awards from Writing for Peace and the Carnegie Council. She has recently attended the 2015 Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop and enjoys drinking milk tea while reading or writing.