October waits outside the movie theater like a street gang in the honeyed light.
You adjust to its contours with a foot, then two, into its bath and hurry home.
November is a void where nothing is. The cat makes snake and rabbit noises,
terse and unfamiliar, in the living room. In its dark, you are new like a tourist.
Where can you go now but through it, a new bruise for each piece of furniture.
December’s unscissored ghost costume falls onto the block. Only soft reasons
to see your folks, brave the roads, wake. You jerk like a stop-motion snowman
to the curb, exhale into your hands, making them a warm little woodwind.
January’s short days spent whistling harmony with your howling kettle.
February, fabricating: Did you know? Geese in flight close their eyes.
It is March. Allergies try new symptoms out on the lovers, sneezes dandelioning.
You brow furrows, and, oh so quietly, you glide like a German Shepherd-
shaped hand past a tent flashlight to a park in April where everything
is named: Lucy the Lake; a picnic’s swept-away plate, Persephone;
Randall, the town’s only taxi, idling all May by the school, raincoat loose.
The jambs are poorly weatherized, so July lets all the spiders inside.
Evening teems with friends, drunk, dumb, and buzzing near the stove.
By August, ringtones like gnats linger over the hamper, the trash,
until the only sound left is the static from shirts pulled off after work.
Then, one afternoon, you see it: September, gouging you a skylight.
-- Justin Runge is the author of Plainsight (New Michigan Press, 2012) and Hum Decode (Greying Ghost Press, 2014). His criticism has been featured by Black Warrior Review and Pleiades, and his poetry has been published in Cincinnati Review, Poetry Northwest, Sycamore Review, DIAGRAM, Colorado Review, and other journals.