Hazel cider eyes
like a pumpkin light
glance out the empty window.
No crunching footsteps chart the driveway;
no cast away candy wrappers decorate the weeds.
The table is set with ginger snaps
and cinnamon rolls sticky with glaze.
is two caramel apples,
a mug of spiced tea,
and no one to share with.
The candy apple red stains on her wrists
fade and return, dependent on the ratio
of bitter to sweet. She nearly
trips over the cat in her distraction.
Her lips are frosted with dark chocolate.
She re-lights the candle on her porch,
snuffed out by the wind.
Distant laughter from bedsheet ghosts
and cardboard wing angels pass
by the wrought iron gates creaky with disuse.
She tastes ash and too-ripe
pumpkin in her dry mouth.
Waxy scarecrow fingers pinch
the candles out one by one –
nobody is ringing her doorbell tonight.
Even the cat takes his leave,
slinking by before the door closes
and bounding into the night, slipping
through the iron bars chained together
with a heavy padlock.