portion of the artwork for Christine Reilly's poetry

Vernal Equinox and Autumnal Equinox Fall in Love
Christine Reilly

They meet at the Ace Hotel.
Verne touches the bone side of Autumn’s hand.
What languages do you speak?
She says, small talk, music, and color.
She asks him, and you? in the language of color,
trilingual cerulean seascapes rolling out of her mouth.
He understands body language
but cannot speak it. He tells her English. Just English.
Autumn is wearing a collegiate blazer
with perfectly placed pockets. Her style
is minimalist. Verne’s style is maximalist
mixed with some Art Nouveau.
There are so many things
they want to disagree upon.
Like the beginning of so many relationships
they have met through friends.
Daytime is Verne’s best friend.
Nighttime is Autumn’s best friend.
Daytime hit on Nighttime at the bar last week
while a Notorious B.I.G. Song was playing. Day said,
and if you don’t know, now you know
nigga. Night said, know what?
Day said, my friend, that is none of your business.
Night said, I’m not your friend.
Day and Night went home and faded into each other.
They thought it would be a one day/night stand
but hadn’t left the other’s side since.

It’s Autumn’s birthday and Daytime and Nighttime
have just announced that they are getting married.
Autumn cries tears of happiness. Wind pours
down her face. Autumn’s arms
are two trees and she’s been starving herself.
When she gets older, her arms will turn into
two skeletons and she will turn into
Winter. Every day she puts
anti-Winter creams on her face.
The Summer Solstice, an old friend, lights candles
on her French vanilla and nutella cupcakes
and everyone sings Happy Birthday
but nobody wants to eat the cupcakes
because of the drugs. They split a cab
to this place on the Lower East Side
called the Electric Bowery until the blow
wears off. Autumn has forgotten to blow
out the candles on the cupcakes and starts
a forest fire. All of her hair
has burnt off, but she’s so coked up
she doesn’t mind. Verne kisses
her smooth scalp. All of the seasons and times
open up to each other completely,
so completely until their voices run hoarse
and they rack their brains for more Truths
to tell each other. Autumn feels her Heart
hurting. Verne asks her what’s wrong.
She wants to tell him what’s been
tailoring her Heart, thinks of the word
Wisteria in the language of color,
hates herself because she cannot for the life of her
remember what it was in English.

Autumn is alone
and awake in bed and her Heart is hurting.
Sometimes Verne is next to her.
Tonight he is not.
Autumn tries to think of something
that he would say in this situation.
Sometimes the best thing to do
in this case would be to suck the pain out.
And Autumn would say,
you mean like a mind thing?
And Verne would say,
No, I mean with another mouth.
Then she would pause and he would say,
I’m sorry. And she would say, I think it was all a dream.
And he would say, I used to read word-up magazine.

Autumn has decided to see a doctor.
He tells her that she may have a Heart murmur.
What does that mean? she asks.
It means your Heart is trying to tell you something.
Autumn stares out the window at a scriptural sunset,
day fucking night. They may be her friends, but they show off.

She thinks about Verne. She thinks
about all the languages
that she’ll never learn, and starts to cry.
Red and yellow leaves pour
down her cheekbones.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 34 | Fall 2011