At twenty below the moon comes up
in blue daylight; our mattress, dense with sleeping bags
and white feather pillows
belies any sense of warmth-slash- comfort.
(pretense): how we used to walk on
white sand beaches, sandals dangling
from my fingers.
we lie chilled, flung beyond hope as
trees lean over the frozen lake.
this house, my paper-strewn desk, the thin-shelled walls,
cold-soaked we resort to energetic huddling, drawing knees to chest,
closing hands into fists (unlike prayer), while
the deepening fog rises by its own law.
thoughts arise and go unspoken
there is the daily torpor, hibernations where
talking is like the sun (scarce) and
no blazing words can warm us, now.
we can’t plow out, so
sucking stale air, we dig in
burrowing like wild animals, underground,
shivered, and wheeling our barrows of third-rate regrets
nosing its garbage, stumbling through snowdrifts
waiting, waiting for a chinook
to melt puddled ice and bring back
the light, and (all of) its gulping brightness.