In November, we hear death’s footsteps..


From The Paris Review:

We have a little bit more time. It’s one of the last days of the month, and the clouds have come and so the rain will come and then the snow will come. The Buddhists and bards and heavy-metal balladeers know: nothing lasts forever. Another season’s closing song. Death has been walking toward us all along, but in November we hear the footsteps.

We hear the footsteps in the glow of the leaves that cling and the bone branches silhouetted against the sky. A euphoria comes from the reminder of our aliveness. Footsteps, quiet, steady, and the breeze—that one—the cold breath from the world lifting the last leaf from the branch, no matter how hard it clings. It will undo the leaf’s grip, detach it from its source, settle it on the earth, return it to its source. And that same cold breath will detach us, return us. So, a sweater. A walk. The heated press of someone else’s thigh. The smell of sweet mulching leaves. Milkweed silk like moonlight. Listen. Quiet. Listen. Footfalls in steady rhythm in the air, the constant beat, unlimping: no vem ber no vem ber no vem ber no vem no vem no vem

“Death’s Footsteps”, Nina MacLaughlin, The Paris Review

Photograph by Wir Caetano.