This Fall & Its Signifiers


The house behind them has a garage roof littered with leaves; one of the trees sheds its leaves late. Some land face-down, white-backed, and look like petals.


The temperature drops quickly, but the snow is late. The trucks on the front street shudder the asphalt. The sounds pattern-back, echo off plate glass from the office building across the street to the large window in their living room. The whole house. It will be better when the snow falls.


Her mother calls. Does she remember the slide project? Converting all her slides to digital? She found another box –from when she was six and they were living in Iceland,on the Air Force Base. “You’ll love this,” she says. She’s found a picture of her and her brother, posed with a killer whale carcass. “The pilots would strafe the whales, use them for target practice.” The Icelanders loved it –less competition for their fishing. Something for your poetry?” she asks, but she is not The Colonel, she is The Colonel’s


In the night, her feet shed their socks. The temperature is perfect: the ambient heat of the dog’s body, the proximity of his. Even the texture of the flannels in this bed he constructed: sheets, duvet, comforter. She stays awake to enjoy her pink-winter-skin.


The day after Thanksgiving sets a record for background checks, both in-state and federal.


The dishwasher may be dying; she spends an afternoon scrubbing, picking calcium deposits out of sprayer arms. He wants to buy new dishes; she convinces him to wait until


They play a game of trivia over the holidays, modified for all ages. The younger ones can “phone an adult” for help. Her nephew is asked, “Besides humans, what else has an appendix?” All the other faces at the table slide to her.



C. Kubasta is the author of the chapbooks, A Lovely Box and &s, and a full-length collection, All Beautiful & Useless(BlazeVOX, 2015). Her next book, Of Covenants, is forthcoming from Whitepoint Press in 2017. She is active with the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and serves as Assistant Poetry editor with Brain Mill Press. She thinks poetry, like humor, porn, & horror, should be a body genre. Find her at or @CKubastathePoet

next             table of content