Today leaves are dripping like green drops of hand cream,

oozing down the tree trunks, lying in swampy puddles

on the ground.

Heidi steps over them carefully, her dainty dog feet stained

with the touch of them.

The neighbor stands across the street, shaking his head;

we see him framed in his living room window.

And yet, we’ve grown closer these days, clinging to each

other like fungus while leaves drip down like tiny


Heidi is the only one among us that goes out unafraid.

She doesn’t know about the smoke pockets that might

overcome her; the smoke is manmade, she can’t com-

prehend it.

Your face is damp and has a greenish cast. I wipe it with

the edge of my skirt, smoothing the eyelids gently,

kissing the forehead.

We may not last long, dear, but something of us has to.

The words we’ve used will stain the walls, our love will

hang from the ceiling like a canopy.

You see, all is not in vain. You whimper in the night and

dream of your photographs melting in their frames, and

I hold you in my moist soft arms.

This, too, will endure. Our spirits are electric and hover

above us like clouds.

by Cher Bibler