Ash of Summer, tanka sequence

yellow moon fever—
children clap, fireflies go dark.
summer snapped shut.
the sun plummets, leaves catch fire.
falling! the crack of the noose.

autumn smells like tea—
spices and billowing leaves.
trees perish in fire,
halloween masks of bone-mouths
drinking the ash of summer.

noon—fire in the fields;
a checkered picnic blanket
cartwheels, abandoned.
i blow smoke out the window,
my lover rides the train home.

Ash Evan Lippert is a 32-year-old proud dad to two cats, a sourdough starter, and a scatter-brained husband. Their poetry and short fiction have been featured in Failed Haiku, Antithesis Common, and Clemson University’s literary journal Semantics. They are a certified expert in suffering, from maladies of both flesh and spirit, a condition which both informs their work and means they never do much of it.

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