American Beech, Fagus grandifolia

Two Yellow Leaves

by Erinn Batykefer

October has slicked the mirror-flat rivers with yellow

leaves.  We pull them from the current

and mark time: the color of my infant skin under a bili light;

a dozen July apples carried to the kitchen

in your shirt, their yellow sugar slick on a serrated knife.

I see the high sun snapping against sheets on the line,

my hipbones pressing out and opening late one summer,

the yellow outline of bone under skin.

I see here: the 16th Street Bridge flinging skeins of yellow iron

over the flood-ochered Allegheny, this morning’s diner-

on an edge of light as blinding autumn flutters

through the poplars’ paper-coin leaves.  My leaf-shaped heart

welling up through the river, yellow.