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On the eve of October all I can think of is mid August, the wobbling earth, and the diffuse light that beckoned, that foretold of a time when the year would grow dark and we would crave drawing close to each other in the dying moments of another of dying year.

In that moment of the last hurrah, the huzzah, huzzah, huzzah of the year’s maximum life and heat I found and lived, paralyzed, in dread of the smell of an arson’s gasoline about to burn the year to the ashes.


My month of dread. My Uncle’s death. The beginning of my Father’s death. The death of my fat suburban life full of fertilizer, gas barbecues dinners, and pansies.

Now, on October’s eve, only the arson warms the night and fills my nose with the smell of smoke that curls through the fir trees and the yellow leaves of the aspen trees. All that will be left is the smell the arson’s dead wet ashes reeking of gasoline and pansies.


In this darkness I wait for the year to choke without breath and the homeless outside my door to swarm into the streets wearing moving blankets and mismatched boots while screaming of Jesus, Christmas, and Families.


Copyright 2015 – Katherine Johnson – All Rights Reserved