I was as blank today as you can imagine, lost the way to circle back to the beginning or even last summer. I remember those days we wore matching lemon flower dresses. I remember the morbid anatomy of lemons and suburban front yards. We posed for photographs in our lemon dresses. We were little girls on film, locked in a disposable camera— they couldn’t shake us out—our 90s faces came into view, pale as a circle of dead peonies floating in ice water. Today I’ve positioned myself against starting but against stopping too. Days and days repeat in superfluous museums of routine. September slowly becomes the sun behind dusty squares of autumn glass. The wind carries rarities with scissors and thin and remote streets hold adjacent together like masked sisters, existing for no reason other than remembering minerals and footsteps and how light once was on my face. A story I’ve heard before—when my mother was little, she lived in a house of women on a lane of cherry trees. She was a lemon and held one in her open palm. They were poor, the lemons were expensive. Devoured in secret, she was punished for eating it but loved the bitter wave across her mouth, a dusty lemon. This morning, fall bloomed and summer died all at once like a person shedding blonde hair faster than anyone predicted, but as blank as you could imagine. Roses crumbled to the sky and I remembered we lived in a cottage of roses once— there were wrong ways to hold a rose so I learned by pain to be correct. Lemons were luxury, and it was wartime everywhere and elsewhere, but I lived in a deathless garden of flowers and infinite spring. Rare to feel something other than autumn, a nonspecific blankness. Can you imagine? I carry lemon acid with me, scrape a serrated knife across the back of my hand, squeeze lemon over it. Still remembering those thorns on which I ripped my child skin, I rip & rip again.