Mucha Nouveau Four Seasons by Alphonse Mucha


All the sins of springtime
would burn up in the swelter
of summer. The ashes would
stay buried beneath the snow
in winter. Pray that autumn
keeps your secrets. The rustling
leaves are the gossiping whispers
that drag names through the
gutters of the streets. The air
smells like burnt orange.
Fire surrounds you. Seasons
are a sacred sphere. You’re
protected by the fact that they
will always come and they
will always transform. But
you’ll stay the same. You’ll
be rooted in transgressions.
Thirsty for freedom. Hungry
for rain.


Thorns steal the breath of
the saplings. Mother Nature
can be a murderer. Her
disasters are an act of revenge.
It was a crime of passion to be
so cold. The Fountain of Youth
was filled with blood. Its
foundation, cracked. Ancient.
Charcoal canopy. Breath clouds
dissipate. Steam rose from
fresh wounds. Snowflakes
and fingerprints. No hate. No
blame. Snowflakes and finger-
paints. No two seasons were
the same.


The sun was a heat lamp.
Three months of being interrogated.
The buckets could be filled
with sweat instead of Pine-
Sol. Scrubbing every
surface so hard your sweat is
Pine-Sol and you look sunburnt
because the scrub brush
scratches the skin. Summer
is dirty. The prison has
air conditioning but you can
feel the flame eyes
burning. Searing. As
above so below.
The sea of guilt is not refreshing.
Water droplets feel like stones.
Remorse has no appetite.
Flesh and bones.
Sticks and salacious tones.
If the heat makes me take
another, at least the seed
sprouts won’t be alone. The
soul can’t thaw because
the freeze is too deep. There
are bloodstains on the back
of your eyelids when you sleep.


Frost makes landscapes on
window panes. The Ice
Queen dances in the flurries
and you rub icicles in your
eyes because you can’t cry
anymore. The blurrier your
vision, the better. She’s
decaying in the backyard
and you’re under the weather.
Wrap your weapons and
worries in an oversized sweater.
Worms eat through her
organs. You eat holes
in your sleeve. The sound
of your chewing drowns
out the echo of her screams.


This is the beginning of the end.


© Jennifer Patino (2016)

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