I’m wondering. I’m wandering. I’m kicking through autumn leaves, each one some shade of gold, each one of a kind. In this city tall slim trees undress to drop such pleasant waste, gifts to clog the gutters, litter the street. The locals couldn’t care less. I could. Each pile I scatter by foot, each one is a treat. I kick a golden bank, a quick flume and soggy landing, again and again.
It’s cold here, I like it. My socks are wet because my shoes are soaked; it’s safe to assume they smell awful. They’ll dry. I pour hot coffee breath into chill hands, I stand in crowds, I stare at signs I don’t understand and connect with the disconnect of a city who’s tongue I can’t wrangle. I don’t speak a word here. I’ll learn maybe, I’ll try to learn.
The birds know me, they see me. I could do without these birds. I’ve dealt with plenty of pidgins in my time, but this lot, they stare. They circle and they stare, unabashed, I think they want my eyes. Birds all over the place today, milling about like punchy drunks at a bus stop, I cross the street but they see me, they always see me. It’s ok. I chew my cheek, breath hard through my nose and make quiet promises. I tell myself a secret, I ball my fists and stuff them in my pockets and keep walking. I send my soaking right shoe through a thick stack of leaves, I’m a millionaire. I wonder what’s over the rise. I keep walking.
Last night I slept alone. This morning some ghost made my coffee, hot and bland to share with a cheese sandwich. I made the bed, I brushed my teeth and left my room for a dishwater sky and air thin enough to slip through knitting. It’s 11:28 now and I’m running out of time to say good morning to someone. I need to learn good morning. Tomorrow, maybe tomorrow.