The Dying Season

Illustration by Rose Jaffe

the leaves deadened
because it’s the dying season
and I’m walking on your grandmother
just as you’ve stood on mine
scanning verdant fields
lost among flat plaques
are we really so afraid
to hide our corpses in the grass
leaves and dirt and drippings from trees
my hand gets cold sweeping past names clean
my feet grow cold walking over them

—Adriana Rewald, LSA senior

Dear Lloyd Carr

Tuesday pointed me towards home. I heard you’re retiring
But it wasn’t until I left Ann Arbor nestled into the backseat of a
Taxi that I watched the red brake lights bleed into each other and I realized
You’re leaving home. We’re all moving in circles on highways with
Yellow lights streaming and windshield wipers moving
Back-and-forth back-and-forth, but this is the end for you.
The monolithic stadium, empty except for its echoing, bare except
For its memories, spiraling tightly in the air, above your head.

In the Detroit Airport I walked palm against the windows and
Hugged it all to myself: the old couple ahead talking of Prague
And its antiques, the stewardess’ combed blonde strands,
The child tottering uncertainly on the escalator. I took them with me,

Packed them into my suitcase, thought of you, wondered how you would
Fit so many Saturday mornings—the crowd, the students,
The parties, the locker room, the players, the stress, the cameras—into your baggage.
I wondered how you would compact the yellow sun rising over the stadium,
Its rays passing over your eyes, the rush of maize sweeping through your body.

—Laura Beth Winnick, LSA senior

Baggage Claim

after thirty two hours
of sleepwalking,
removing my belt and shoes
for customs,
the magna wand clicking
a typewriter’s symphony
at my crotch,
after the cocoon
of recycled air and
and tinfoil-broiled
meals, babies’
exasperated whines
and jet engines’
cabin-pressured hiss
after the many goodbyes
of my hometown like
rust-colored leaves
blowing in the breeze,
and the loving
hurried cut in my mother’s
voice as she shoos me
down the gate like
a cicada emerging
from its husk,
I stand here,
no excitement
at my new life
as a polyglot,
no music stuck in my head
besides runway ambient
no taste in my mouth
but half-fermented saliva.

I stand here
and I want two things;
my bags and my bed.
Adventure can go fuck itself.

—Gahl Liberzon, LSA junior

The Warmest September

She waits at the crosswalk, huddles near the rows and rows
Of sealed mailboxes in the lobby. Once I saw her dazed
In a beat-up Honda, low to the ground, waiting for the light
To go from yellow to red to green.
Yesterday I peeked over her slouching shoulder:
The crisp handwriting: “Honey, are you happy
There?” Today she clasped her thick sealed response
Standing by the side of the post office leaning
From one knee to the other. She licked one
Stamp, debated two: the second poised on the edge
Of her index finger, anxious for moisture.

The leaves grew from green to yellow to red
And I whispered to them “It’s not something you can
Measure.” Their response: a soft crinkling, a harvest of agreement.

—Laura Beth Winnick, LSA senior

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