you kept saying "this winter will be harsh"
& i would argue as if our feelings about
the impending shift were rooted in
some other specific looming knowing.
it was november & i already missed you
the way you can miss a window in a room
across a house or the way you can miss
an un-seeable planet. mars thumb-taced in the sky.
do we already know what will come
to hurt us in the future? is it written
in us like the circles at the heart of a tree.
those three days of thick permanent snow. sharp knifed wind.
the city was a diorama we peered into
through a tall pillar of glass.
how quickly a season can invade. the year before
we watched ice skaters make dinner plates
of bryant park. this year was different.
the apartment fell from the top shelf.
my old jacket petaled apart.
found a new one at a thrift shop
in flatbush. the pockets were frayed open
& i lost all my pennies to the sidewalks.
the streets turned into ribbons
& blew wide open. not enough time.
a holiday is a kind of ledge. we saw
bird foot prints in the parking lot.
my car, covered in ice. the street three blocks up
where the houses almost resembled homes.
long island never held me. everyone was
little bridges. i walked the dog
around the block until it became an orbit.
you watched snow out your window.
its glow in the morning a pervasive white bulb.
how could i tell you i didn't know
what we were anymore? not as lovers but
as beings. was i just a reflection & not
the body on the other side? when would spring
save us? i was so so wrong. the winter was unrelenting.
there you stared like a prophet or a compass,
warm next to me on train rides to & from a monster.
the television whispered, "alright alright."
neighbors waltzing with chair.
forecast for three inches of snow
brimming in the brown-grey static night.