I lift my filtered spectacles to learn
the color of the leaves upon the ground.
November makes the liquidambar turn
to pale vermillion, faded blood, a scarlet found
on nothing else. The color isn’t pink.
It’s crimson worn without a hint of white:
like nail enamel laid too thin, I think,
or red construction paper bleached by light.

The tree trunks steam this morning in the sun
as if exhaling breath held during rain.
The storm left plastered leaves when it was done,
that print an outline as a mocha stain
upon the old concrete. I set my tread
on stenciled leaves, November-tinted red.

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