This Is the Hour of Ice
Undress me in sleet & shadow. Winter me,
frisk me. Frisk me later. Frisk me again
as whiteness funnels in.
You open your mouth & all the forest listens.
Split isn’t easy to absorb—
part darkness, part January light
unraveling, fox fast, above
the grey tree line. & sutures
my body’s locked in loss.
In the clearing of the woods,
snow erases all prints. Don’t let me
be right. Don’t let me mistake
a deer’s skull for your frost-glazed face.
Stretched before me like danger signs
are wolves in their auburn-tinged regalia
tracing & untracing the blizzard bright path,
their howls of simulated warmth. A rabbit
caught on the claws of an owl puts an end
to the circling, as the triumphant beak
screeches like rusted snow chains
freeze-freeze-freeze. No one’s coming for you.