Autumnal Apéritif

here it is.
here it is.


at last and already
golden, euphoric rearrange;
crisp sun rays glisten with sap
and only when the cold invades
do the days hint at
maple and amber notes unfolding
until you can taste the season’s

I’ve always loved it that way.

lovely, how
silence slyly hugs the gentle hours
suggests the darkness’ become darker
winks at the mystical aura gathering; wait
do you feel the rhythm of nature unwinding?
do you feel its quiet call to dance?
“wait,” it whispers
while sunlight plays
sways, leaps
with the austere air that’s come to
linger for a while; “welcome”

greets change with a spiced cup of hot cider.

autumn always felt like the beginning
of something magical—
drifts in with the cool winds,
caresses the bones,
creeps into the corners of the mind, and
begs the ghosts of inspiration to come alive.
old friend, one can only know
as a certain character
of some familiar melody.

the words
when I first read them, sang
as from something everlasting within me:
“…more a season of the soul than of nature.”
so it had to be mine, the fall.

satisfaction is
my black coffee laced with Nietzsche.

how cosmically clever
this romance
demands love and attention, too,
for that which I would sooner forget—
psychological scars and blemishes
and vestigial wounds.
you couldn’t trace from any bruise
or aberration on my flesh, the
reflexively spurned evidence of my
categorical devastation.
but kind Time, I reached within
the depths of me to retrieve what pieces
I had left to rebuild; sweet mercy.
though the return of this season
now hails the cost of banishment,
involuntary accompaniment to the specifics
I perennially ward from memory.

here again
this beloved season circling back;
recurrent reminder of things
I deny I still carry.

sweet October
dear, flickering
glowing punctuation of the seasons—
always so fleeting, but in the past handful of years
has become ever more elusive,
for my senses cannot freely grasp its enjoyment
while I deny the wholeness of its experience.
the wholeness of my own.

I now admit
this secret, kept even from myself
that even with my mind made slippery
I could not shake a certain shadow:
scant awareness of
my statute of limitations elapsing.
it was a strange occasion
I awaited, softly beckoned
as I imagined a vague
sense of relief
telling me, “it’s over.”

furtive illusion
rebuffed by dependable change;
I am reminded the marker was arbitrary.

fight, flight, freeze.
fight, flight, freeze.

now fight to break free;
I take stock of these seasons
spanning years
blending together in my mind
slipping through my fingertips;
moments, unnoticed
washed downstream from
compulsive cleansing
all because of a lousy lingering fear
that something unwanted might stick…

I’d rather taste the honey
in this drink, while I
savor its bitter complexity,
too robust to be cloying; I’d rather,
with its penetrating depth of
sweetness still lingering on my tongue,
fully experience Life
than go on ceding Time, continually
trapped by fear-driven habit.
surely, that would be
no better than to remain
complicit in the very structures
that made me victim.

with reawakened
appetite for Life waxing
I, too, expand
re-inhabit my body and the world,
and reopen channels of connection.
stretching out into my self,
I continue reaching deeper still for
pieces I thought had been swallowed up
by that voracious black pit,
only to find more complete
gradual release.

and just as nature has
gone on, goes on
in her cyclic way, shedding layers
continually renewing—
that lot, I refuse.

so with a tipple
I set fire to it all
to take it back
to take it all back

and as I gaze at the
wildfire, my soul too
flashes, trembles, burns
and sets to motion

while a smirk exudes
from within, for the scene is a song:
“If that’s all there is, my friends, then let’s keep dancing…”

electrified particles
glide over the affair, the tune
as waves, flowing through my body
coursing through the ground
and every material of the atmosphere.
for once, I feel utterly connected to it all
and hum the melody
wafting through the air;
delight, as I stroke the breeze,
gentle and furious.

I like to think
Nietzsche smiles here, too.

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Dinavie Salazar

A writer and astrologer based in Los Angeles and California's High Desert. A womxn with appetites, a mouth that bites. The eldest daughter of Filipinx immigrants, with a heavy name I love. A guide through valleys of Shadow. A ranger of the fertile dark.

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