take your coat, you say, you wrap it around me

like your words, smothering,

repressing. stifling my breath

in a house of old paper.

you lace up my boots. says i,

let me, i can do it fine,

because the old scarves and leaves and red doorways

of autumn

take me away

from the touch and call

of you.

open the door. says you,

stay, says your hands,

pick me. says i,

i'll be back soon.

your eyes beg, my I's hurting them

as they step out into

the crunch of october.

your gaze follows me down

the street.