At the Pumpkin Festival, My Lips Burn Bright
Boys in flannel line up to see who can throw
them the farthest, sending them spinning through
the air like suns too drunk from summer’s end.
Some the size of a giant tortoiseshell mold into
the most wicked faces. Chinese believe this fruit
is the most lucky of all—so fertile and thumpy
with a satisfying knock on its belly to plim
pregnant women nicely round. Every year I beg
my mother to plant a pumpkin so we can harvest
it together. A giant birthday cake for the woman
who was born the day before Halloween, who I
once thought was a witch herself when she cut
my curfew in half with a wave of her thin hands.
Seed & gutrot // Stem & root. The salty crunch
of toasted seeds—the only protection my mouth
has against witches. No more pie or bread stolen.