Months grouped together like careless footsteps
stroll upon the lashings accorded to me by the sun.
In January I am caressed by ghosts
or something as cold and invisible.
They intrude upon hair, clothes; books
dampen with monstrous hand prints.
Are these shells of half-dead creatures
holding themselves, ancient in a cavern somewhere
or tethered to the earth by thought?
Bits of cloud, the flesh of heaven
picked off like a soft disease
nestle on my shoulder as if pulled from my sweater.
they emerge quietly like droplets of blood. Whisper:
we are the teeth of ancient things.
White drift presses upon the house
and the window. Its cool breath scales
my chin, pries open my mouth like a tenacious lover,
and settles with a small sigh on the tongue
like a hiss of steam.
We have made and unmade warmth.
Angry flakes brandish their sharp
edges in a dance of swords as they tumble,
and the sigh on my tongue becomes a shriek
as they meet flesh and disappear--
The last dying things of winter.