Of Dog and Flower

— John Matthew Brandon II


Autumn is neither of our favorites. It rolls in like a cool smoldering, and the trees set themselves aflame. Sunflowers bow their heads and the warmth of the past goes into hibernation. But you and I? We resist sleep. We rage against the oranges of sluggish movements, the yellows of silence, the red ennui. Our cell phones melt our hands with their flurry of exchange. Our eyes are still slick with wonder. Our fingers are pocked with dents of pens and our notebooks are still hungry. We bloom under full moons and the ghost that escapes our lungs, on the coolest of nights, is pink with love dioxide.


A month ago I hunted you through a field of helianthus. I moved smoothly, watching you communicate via the tips of your fingers. You synced with the stalks you waded through, and every wind made you dance. One moment you were prey: head full of blossoms, skin like the serum of bees, and I, body full of wolf, licked my lips.

In the next moment, you spoke, and I perspired. You became a Black Eyed Susan and my body filled to the brim with butterflies. You became a golden machine and—as if your cells were supplemented with microscopic angels—you radiated. You caught me and I could not resist.


Two months from now you’ll hunt me for my warmth. We’ll be the last beasts awake.  Our natural habitat will include coffee shops and bakeries. Our bodies will swell with chai and cinnamon. I’ll teach you how to read the moon, how to vibe with the night. We’ll light candles, instead of dropping breadcrumbs, as we traverse the cement forest of leafless skyscrapers and pavement. You know my lupine secret so I’ll teach you to sing nocturnal lullabies. I’ll show you how I become immune to cold by piercing it with hot eyes yearning for stars. You’ll be bundled in layers and you’ll show me how to tame my dark mane. You’ll show me how you spiral your petals, like the defense of the Morning Glory. You’ll prove Nature is a church in which we can become saints. I’ll prove Love was never meant to be domesticated.


As we wait we’ll string up lights around a tree and call it ours. We’ll let the tea kettle whistle and then pull out the faux china. We’ll hold on to the remains of vibrance as the world goes rustic. One of my hands will hold a flare so we’ll never stop shining. The other hand will hold yours.

Autumn must prepare itself for us.

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