Leaves
by Alisa Malinovich

    On the day Olivia and I drive up north to see the leaves
    I bring the whole city with me
    the traffic is pressed into my center the subway runs
    up and down my limbs
    and my head
    is a platform crowded with people

    I can feel their tension the hot breath between people
    as I pose for a photograph under a canopy of yellow leaves
    We walk towards a clearing a crater pushing up into my head
    The city pounds inside of me
    an aching in my limbs
    where the subway runs

    It is dangerous to leave this city like a girl who runs
    away from home and finds that the people
    she has left behind are etched into her bones carved into her limbs
    We have walked all day to arrive at a cliff overlooking a valley of colored leaves
    But the city is still inside of me
    A garbage truck explodes inside my head

    There is so much noise inside my head
    I have asked the subway that runs
    inside of me
    where it is going, and which people
    are riding it. But it leaves
    and arrives at unexpected hours, sending shock waves through my limbs

    I have always had limbs
    in need of stretching I have always had a head
    that was coming loose I have always been a girl who leaves
    and arrives unexpectedly who runs
    to and away from people
    I have often found shadows casting themselves around me

    We drive back to the city its noise still inside me
    and by the time a clearing fills my limbs
    I am standing on a platform in Grand Central Station, watching people
    rush past My head
    feels light as the subway runs
    down the track into the station comes to a screeching halt before it leaves

    I step onto the train and for a minute my head
    is a pale blue sky a stream runs through my limbs
    and my shoulders are a canopy of yellow leaves






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