in autumn i think of you.
the way a leaf browns,
curls up, and floats along wind,
rustle becoming tremor becoming fall—
cold air blows spaces between branches and i wonder
which air ravaged your neurons
which air dared fly through you at night, waking you in a
Parkinsonian jolt, summer taking a nosedive
into a colder turn of earth.
only one memory of you
before you could no longer remember me.
we were eating papaya—your favorite—and the dyskinesia was
still mild. you were stretching your legs, so i stretched too.
and though i truly could not stand papaya’s thick smell,
i gnawed it in solidarity,
bright summer flesh
making sticky orange smiles.
i want to pour into you what we know now, to exact
the moment of mutation and leap into your genome
and shake some sense into those strands. i want them to give you
deep brain stimulation. you should see the videos, nanji.
they’re walking in ten minutes.
they’re going from shaky hands spilling water to
easily taking sips. they go into summerland, nanji.
i think of you.
papayas flee from marketstands and i hope
their going out of season here means there's
a plentiful grove
wherever you are wandering.