winter collection


winter arrived early
bringing the clouds down low
to the tips of trees at the tops of the hills
so it felt like I was in the mountains
the high peaks came to me
since I could not visit them
pores that had allowed room to breathe became
fault lines
when water seeped in and froze, expanded
the edifice had no iron core
so nothing will stand long after

cold smile

I puff small clouds into the faint light
freezing dusk settles
I desperately want to perpetuate
to keep watching
the miracle that I am
shoulders hunched forward
abdomen tightened
I fight for stability
pushing my weight to the ground
and then release
sit back
watch the mist of my mouth dissipate into
absorbed by the ether that pervades
let go of the tightness
let myself be
warm breath passes my lips
corners of my mouth turn up
diamonds in the night sky
points at the center of the universe


even mouths
are cold
movement is
flat-footed walking
like penguins over ice
skill looks
perhaps I don’t stand out
as much
as I thought


my heart slowed nearly to a stop
turned inward
reflecting on the sensations of
complex movements within me that make
my chest rise and fall
my skin warm
my eyes and mouth wet

I am a giant organism
pulsing heat
against the frigid elements
with barely a good reason
but can not quit

life is heat
is blood
my heart an infrared sensor
my fingertips tendrils
reaching outward

my hand against
pale, weak evening mid-winter light
bones and cartilage covered by skin
grotesque in their simple form
magnificent only because
they flow with life

ice cave

winter has set
crystals—intricate with fiber and space—
interlock to a glassy façade
I watch as ice is pushed to the perimeter
glass thickens, my breath fogs
and I can no longer see through what is now an ice cave
carved out for the stretch of long nighttimes
inside is life; outside frozen to a standstill
shivering, I dive into the hole in the ground to swim among the fish
—wise—the temperature of their home is predictable
the black waters feel warmer than above, so I turn down
kick my way deeper into the fathoms
darker now
limbs numb
I find my way without senses