A woman queues, empty basket
looped over her arm, hopes
to make soup
to ward off cobblestones’ chill
her ankles, calves, thighs.
Apples snapped from branches.
displaced by chrysanthemums’ dull copper.
She no longer counts on the sun. Or beauty.
Unable to trick her, the serpent
whispers to young wives.
Chickens hiss, spit fat into flame
unrepentant as Joan of Arc
who wanted to be a ruler, not a saint.
The pumpkin squats
on the vendor’s splintered plank
in so little left to lose. Gutted,
stripped of webbed membrane, slippery seeds,
it flashes an orange cavity
ribbed and hollow
as a lantern, a carriage,
a columned, wind-rushed temple.