Deciduous (Evening in a Polar Vortex)
Blanket, you hear, means to cover,
not to warm. You watch her pupils fall
back into their rooms, her ears unfold
as the shards of your hacking
subside. Soft, red phlegm lines your sleeve.
Your body has violence in it. She sneaks
an arm under your neck, to pillow,
too bony—but to hold you: a last impression
left molded into bedsheets. Someone,
right now, is dying. It isn’t you. You leave
a dream resting beside her body as you
find yours there, under the dead
trees who can’t say we’re not
really. Their icicles bloom toward your skin,
their shivering sun. It ashes, splits your pale
face into spectra, shows the trees the future
bedroom they’ll one day be
folded into. They offer no response.
It’s so far now, and alone of you. Here,
the wind chills your phlegm
into sculptures. A hand soothes
your bark. It isn’t hers. Someone,
right now, is being born.
But it can’t be you.