we will have fallen asleep somewhere after lunch, with the afternoon creeping past our door as we slept, and the sky will turn grey, the slate foggy rolling kind that comes in quickly after bright mornings. I'll step out of bed to find the floorboard cold and, slipping into socks, I'll remind myself of fall's dying breaths, drawing a picture in my mind of warm stew and brandy. that spot in my left hip will ache as I wander towards the kitchen, pondering why brandy when I've never tasted a drop. I'll find you here, staring out, your hair a tousled disaster and a sweater pulled haphazardly around your shoulders. I'll know you need a better answer for why too many hearts and minds dance to different tunes, and I'll know I can't offer one. sliding down the wall, I'll wait for you to ask again. and maybe you'll let a couple tears fall before catching your staccato breath and locking eyes, which is your way. and you'll know there is no reasoning with conflicted souls and no honor is nursing fatal wounds and no ocean I wouldn't swim for you and no hunger that can be nourished from the outside. you'll forgive yourself again somewhere below your eighth rib, sure it won't be the last time, remembering this is not the first time, and I'll trace my finger across the arch of your foot like I've done twelve thousand days before and say something about tasting my first sip of brandy. and I'll leave you here with the widening cracks of becoming a woman and the knowledge that we are the ones who wonder by windows deep in between the worlds. and you'll know that the flowers are here to decorate the solitude and make fragrant the worry, for the work of aging girlhood is noble and deserves a bit of embellishment.