22. mona lisa

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i once met a mona lisa girl

it was one of those strange autumn nights,
when the sky turns as white as a blank sheet of paper
and the wind blows gently in your face

it was quite a wonderful time-
leaves of gold and rubies spilling to the floor,
pumpkin spice and cinnamon in the air.

i was walking home from school one day
and decided to take
a shortcut,
cut through an alley
instead of going all the way around.

i must admit
i got a wee bit lost
roads and i don't get along
and so i was wandering around the alleys
absent-mindedly
when i saw her;
a frail little girl
clutching her frail brother's hand.

i remember
stopping,
watching
as they shivered at the end of that alley
and
without much thought
walking away
the leaves crunching under my feet.

i remember coming back there
on a tuesday
one year later
and to find the brother crying,
his hair long and unkept
kneeling on the cold ground
his tears dripping like sap
from a tree on a spring day
unlike this dreary one.

i saw the frail little girl
sleeping in her brother's lap
her eyes closed in slumber
her dirty scarlet hair
spilling to the cold ground
like blood
staining it with red.
i watched
as the first snowflakes fell
and the boy cried
and the girl slept
with her scarlet lips sealed shut.

"are you warm, are you real, mona lisa?"
- song by nat cole king

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