Autumn A Collection by C.C. Russell


The clouds moved stealthily across the flat surface of the sky, an invisible high-atmospheric current whisking them along while we, on our backs in the grass near the pond, were left untouched. The geese rattled their tongues in long ululations of grief at a disappearing season. You put your hand on mine for a second. You smiled. The wind paid no attention to this.

Morning’s Opening Lines

Thank you stickers plastered over the plastic bags rustling along the fences. A homeless woman pushing her Target cart is asking for forgiveness, asking anyone who will listen to her plaintive, wailing voice. Outside of us, this heat, light. Whatever atoms we are made of. I am trying to read your body in the morning sun through the blinds, but you are suddenly foreign to me. You turn to your bedside table, grab cigarettes, pull smoke into your thin mouth and push it out again. Rhythms. Street steam. A boom box sings hallelujahs from below. I watch the notches of your spine in the growing light, try to remember the day that we met.


The effigies lean over in the wind, most still on fire, lighting the night in fits and cinders. Some dark pile catches, sputters and begins to burn. The night comes to life in a pastiche of flame as the houses sit waiting in patient lines, light and shadow in their violent choreography across their walls.

C.C. Russell currently lives in Wyoming with his wife, daughter, and two cats. He holds a BA in English from the University of Wyoming and has held jobs in a wide range of vocations. His poetry has appeared in the New York Quarterly, Rattle, and Whiskey Island among others. His short fiction has appeared in The Meadow,, and, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for inclusion in The Best Small Fictions.