The Cold This Night

Out of cold comes clacking things,
bladed moon hung like a peg by a door, stars sharp
as thistles bulging, eyelids wearing robes of royal blue,
the breath of beings a ravenous creature
pouring into night.

That is how chill it is this hour. Streetlights crinkle their bulbs.
I wear a hat and gown, mittens and a scarf; my candle
is a withered arm, reaching forth from the depths of
an icy sea; my ink won’t run, the freeze is black,
solid as a granite slab.

My skin is a blood orange wax figure,
sloping around this desk, a hatched clinging newborn,
fetal and center gripped, trying to will heat from a stony void.
I bang my knees against my chest, like a worn dragon
attempting fire, and the smoke of winter
curls out me as growing reels.    

Darkness as a halibut scale, sticks to me as a resin shroud;
slow is the burning, slow is the work, all life moves as an ox,
methodical and dragging, pieces of time shucked off
as peels, and thrown into reverie; nothing else can be done
on such a harsh night.

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