Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

It was October.

Student 24's picture

I played with Frost. It was October. If only I had learnt from Ray Bradbury that October was a grotesque Country where you should only step foot if you are looking to be assaulted by the skeletons your mind shoved in a closet on purpose in the first place. It was October, silly.

I opened the closet, and out walked Robert. He brushed off the Frost from his shoulders; it must have been cold and dusty behind the Doors. Or he was tired of being cold. He walked out. And I stepped into his Home Burial.

I fell deep. The door was wide open and I fell damn deep. I told myself all I had to do was pull apart the words and reconstruct them into a window. So I sat on the narrow, creaky staircase and listened attentively to Frost and his wife. But slowly – I found – slowly, I was listening to myself. And I had the same voice as his wife.

I was accusing. I was hurt. I was pushing away. I was losing. I was missing. Home Burial. 

There wasn’t a way to pick out my own words, care about his, and try to assemble a window which might cast light on our conflict. What we needed to was to smash open the windows we already had, and get some fresh air.

I was overwhelmed as I fell deeper and deeper into Frost’s Home. Or was Frost just pulling out some things that already existed deep in the back of my closet?

 Lay them on the table. Let me hear you say what you already know about them, but use a different voice so you can hear yourself do the talking. 

Frost played with me more than I was capable of resisting. So I played back.

I wrote that,


There is nothing more beautiful

“There is nothing more beautiful than a dying rose,” she murmured.
“There’s you,” he tried.
“There is no need,” she neared herself to him, “for redundancy.”

“You needn’t constantly bring those flowers,” she whined. “You needn’t constantly make me watch them die.”
“But you don’t see me kill them. I just bring you what is freshly dead by other hands.”
“You needn’t,” she retreated, “remind me of rotting carcasses.”

She’d only kept the bouquets for show. For showing the real petals she kept would be too grotesque a scene for a light-hearted, happy-fingered flower-picker.

“Let’s hold hands,” she twitched. “And skip through a pumpkin patch.”
And so they did.
And so they very much did.

They skipped through orangey meat and leafy tentacles,
and through the stringy, fleshy seeds—
all the while the crows would sneer at her,
or at them both?

“There is nothing,” she recited. “There is nothing.”
“There is only nothing.”

“You needn’t constantly run,” he tried to catch her breath before catching his own.
“You need only to—”

“Nothing. There is only nothing,” she panted. She panted.

“But, where? Where is this nothing you see?”

“Always becoming, in all its beauty, nothing. And me only just less beautiful.”
And so she very much was.


I wrote back.