Autumnal Dead



I know how to be good seasonal machine boy,     but I am not worthy

don’t have the right hands to hold the children I may not have

don’t know how to teach them a history that forgets to love me

don’t have a name to pass down to them when this body’s only

identity is in barcodes and scars and social security label.

We have a name for the falling of leaves

but where is the name for the falling of bodies?

My autumn is my wake and I am not yet awake any more than my unborn are.

I have lived nightmares in daylight since I knew I was no longer a child.

Once I wished I could change colors like the leaves.

I wanted to call it repair.

They called it autumn     changed my color with the seasons & the slaughters.

Only after they erased my skin

did I discover what color was. To not be is a color

all its own, the same color as justice     self-interest

space left behind in air by fallen dead black autumn bodies.

Absence was father’s favorite color; loneliness is mine.

The dead do not care if you loved them first or last

or even if you believe in them. Some of us dead are

remembered as fallen. Some of us are already dead

before we get to fall from the branches of our brown mothers.

I hope God is real and that she is a mother with leaves in every color

then she will love me first and not stop though I may fall from her arms

Anderson Peguero II is a writer and artist primarily based out of New York City. In 2016, he won “Best of BNV” for a piece performed at the Youth Speaks Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam Festival. His main passions involve novel-length fiction, poetry, amateur photography, and graphic design. He currently attends Columbia University.