The Signs As Landscapes Where I Pondered My Mortality

Aries: The woods. The spark. The trees turning to smoke, tendrils that twisted toward the sky. The sight of the doe and her fawn, their furs charcoaled in ash.

Taurus: The bridge above the creek, all those rocks coated in moss. Poison oak wreathing around the trail. Leaves of three, let them be. Glossy enough to gather into a bouquet. 

Gemini: Lying in the mustard blooms, acres wide, the sound of beetles and buzzing bees. This sweet scent. Refuse caught in flaxen hair. Sneakers stained with pollen.

Cancer: Moonlight refracted off the lake. Wrinkled surface, ridged water. Air thick as syrup. The sound of crickets staining the air with want.

Leo: The orchard you raced through, air the taste of spoiled fruit. Collapsing under the trees, sunlight filtering through leaves. The dirt scattered with rotting peaches.

Virgo: Standing on the rusted water tower, looking out at the wheat fields, the clouds lurking low in the sky. The lone tractor inching down the highway.

Libra: The meadow, not far from home, fringed with eucalyptus trees. Its mildew scent. Feet trampling clover.

Scorpio: The dairy farm. Unsuspecting cows. The fire down the highway turning the sky ochre. Sepia hues. Mouth the taste of ash.

Sagittarius: The hills that overlook everything, all those trees dissolving into dusk. Seated in the truck bed, eyes wide on the sky, counting the stars.

Capricorn: Sitting on the front porch steps, its wood warped with mold. Sound of cicadas. Wind making music of treeleaves. 

Aquarius: The railroad tracks. Scent of rain and silt. Fallen leaves becoming bowls of water. Frogs hopping across the slats of wood. Bright white sky.

Pisces: The county fair after dark. At the top of the Ferris wheel, the sound of carnival music. All those tinted lights, blending and blurring.

Despy Boutris‘s writing has been published or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, The Adroit Journal, Prairie Schooner, Palette Poetry, Third Coast, Raleigh Review, and more. Currently, she teaches at the University of Houston and serves as Assistant Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast.

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