Raining and strikingly autumn,
dying leaves mockingly daffodil-yellow coalesce with clouds themselves just along the treeline.
They line the sides of the highway, sharpness of the dying trees hazy around the edges from mist on the verge of downpour.
I refuse to fall asleep, feet up on the dashboard in wool socks that are still damp between the toes-
canvas tennis shoes are not waterproof, and retain Lake Huron better than expected-
and the hum of the road makes my head nod forward, forward, forward until I realize and blink hard, wrenching back to a mostly-upright position.
You drive with one hand and a smile, the soft kind that turns the right corner of your mouth high and melts your eyes into whirling pools of warm water, warm feeling, warming up the bottom of my stomach and the tips of my ears.
The hand on the wheel beats out a song which your left leg bounces to, as your spare hand-
too restless for gripping and directing-
plays piano across my knee, fingers tapping the melody and swirling affection across my skin.
When I open my eyes next the yellow has dissolved into the gray of essentially-winter rain, though my socks have dried and the car has maintained the flushed semblance of mutual affection.
Instead of humming independent rock surging, pulsing from speakers,
public radio thoughtfully murmurs about an election that happened in New York during the past year,
and unruly fingertips have calmed to simple thumb strokes,
one after another over my kneecap.