three degrees below freezing:
if there is enough light to see

It is cold.  People are careful,
wear more clothes than are comfortable.
We wrap arms around ourselves
and lean into the warmest places
we find, and in these places
still find cold around edges,
seeping through seams,
or deep in the core of things
we thought would always burn.
We lean for a long time and wait
for heat to build on heat.
It usually does.

We want to think we are earths
crusted around molten cores
of roiling light.  But that light is dark
inside.  And though we say it is, it isn’t light,
it’s heat we seek in times like these.
We trust the deep fire of the body,
of each others’ bodies, to deliver, and
hope the heat is light. In heat lives the body,
in the body: light the eye can’t see
until we break open and what’s inside seeps
slow amber glowing.  Here, I have broken,
come warm your hands, read by me.

2007

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