the air that precedes November

The crickets sing at the end of summer. The height, maybe. No. The end. The end is the height. It's the height and then CRACK like that you need slippers in the morning and you start wondering about how dry the woodpile is. The window of your brain has been redressed and it includes a diorama with pumpkins and haystacks. Because that's what a brain does. No matter how sophisticated the manner of its thinking, a brain wants to wear brain-shaped acrylic sweaters with bedazzled kittens and reindeer and bluebirds and witches on broomsticks. Brains love the SEASONAL aisle. So, right now: pumpkins.

The crickets are urgently loud. They know they're almost done. This new air cuts summer off with a sharp and discernable edge and everybody feels it. All of nature says Hurry up! Make noise! We are almost a going-to-sleep. Joy, the duvet. Awake at 6 AM I peer through the window at mist so thick it looks like ice. I wonder if I'd see my breath out there. I want to. The daytime warms up and tricks us into thinking the summer hangs on but the night and I have a secret. It knows and I know too.

I want the canoe and I want my boots. Big-ass boots. That's what I want. And nubbly sweaters and wooly tights and jeans that feel like girdles. You know. The heavy, restrictive kind that make you feel all tucked-in. I want all the windows thrown open, our bedroom a meat locker. I want to huddle under feathers that feel four feet thick. I want stews and porridge and mittens and woodsmoke and bats. I want to finish the next book. I have to, by November. I am jaw-clenchingly wanting of that. I wake up in the meat locker with my face squeezed shut and sore with wanting. I soothe myself with what I said to my babies: Limp and loose, limp and loose. That's the way to be. Except with my babies I was talking about pooping. Not writing.


How's the air where you are? What's it make you want?