tracing arteries

spreading out each halloween
on the kitchen table, i can read
the guts of the pumpkins like a
haruspex, prodding at the signs
with my steak knife and divining
by the arrangement of the seeds
that the long-boned demon in my
bedroom will stand in its corner
for another four seasons – it is
assigned to me. reaching into
the orange gourd, there is already
a red wax candle inside. it must
have grown last year when i
prayed for help during the
holidays. the kitchen table is
sticky with the soft pulp of
future falls and not all of them
include me. carving my face
into my pumpkin idly, i wonder
why that demon never says
anything. spreading out all the
halloween candles in my mind
like the long-walled insides of
a flickering church, i light one
candle and i light them all. and i
take my lantern to my bedside

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