winter (reprise)

Published in the first REZ E-Reader by Sullivan Street Press, featuring the writers who presented their work at the relaunch of REZ Reading Series at Odradeks in Kew Gardens.

winter (reprise)

i don’t complain
about the cold
anymore.
sometimes, i don’t
even feel it.
it’s so cold
they say,
scrambling in,
cheeks blazing,
one after another,
god it’s cold
huffing and puffing,
faces contorted,
rubbing and
rubbing their hands.
i used to hate
the winter.
i’m a summer baby
i’d assert –
all glistening
sweat,
waves rolling in,
green leaves.
none of this –
penetrating chill,
breathing smoke,
every cell
floating through
your frozen
bloodstream
drawn up tight,
each day getting
darker and darker
as you plunge
deeper and deeper
into this season,
the pure pain
of resistance.
now, though –
i don’t mention
it to anyone.
yeah i reply,
nodding.
you’ll be warm
again soon
smiling,
as if whispering
this to my
own secret heart
instead,
the one that
desperately needs
the reassurance.
the cold can’t hurt
me anymore
because now
any amount of
burn from
freezing fingers
pales infinitely
in comparison
with the
actual cold,
the real cold, here –
the way my fingertips
could light
from lack of
warmth –
my god, nothing,
anymore –
radiating from
your frame –
out of you,
for me.
you, my
unintended chance
for something
more
the absence, it
burns like only
a fire
extinguished
can burn –
captivated
by my own
sense of
alarm –
the cold can’t
touch me now
because
i have felt
infinitely
darker
and more frigid
when i cling
to you
and your
arms lay
lifeless,
talk to you
while you stare
straight ahead,
beg for you
with eyes and
lips and words,
so senselessly,
when i know
as well as you
know that
sometimes
once it goes away
it never comes
back.
my god, i know
what frozen
means –
and it is not this
dead branches and
ice shards,
the nightly squeal
of the kettle as we
silently, separately
sip to
artificial
warmness..
no.
this winter now
means
the shiver in
my soul,
that ache
beyond loneliness
howling through
my bones
each time i
wonder what it
hurts so much
to wonder:
will i ever truly feel
that fire –
our fire
ever
again?