oh, to be warm


baking against

your thick skin

which now

protects your heart

and keeps you hard

like unripened fruit

not yet ready

to be plucked

and tasted


this morning

birds sing springtime songs

and your voice has grown silent

like the deep dark wood

holding fast in hope

pressing forward without you

I wish you would thaw

to find comfort here

joy and life alive in me

like a tiny fern




you’ve been quiet

I waited to say the words

because you already know them

all of them


you already feel them

settling deep

they scare you

they ask things of you

things you don’t yet want to give

so instead, I remain silent

by choice

waiting on you

not because I must

but because I will

and gently

once in a while

you arrive and water the seeds

until their bright green shoots

begin to press up from the ground

then, in a panic

you pull them up by their roots

just as they begin to thrive

can’t have me

shaking your solid ground

can’t let me

thaw the places you froze

when I asked for a cup of tea

to sit by your fire

for just a moment

of joy and sadness and hope

and all the things

we’ve lost and found

apart and together

and you took my heart

pulled me inside

then told me to go

standing on the steps

asking me to come home again

to a place you won’t let me live

or leave


frozen days warmth

I’ve drawn my body away

seeking warmth at another fire

while you cling to frozen places

as the heat in my chest

swells for your life and love

and a kiss I don’t know

sits like a coal on my lips

as I burn for things held

arms reach away from my heart

quenching all the fires

with milk and honey


you told me not to fall

and I have attempted

to honor this request

instead, slipping deeper


the way one pulls

a soft, old quilt

up around the ears

in bed on a very cold night

because it is so safe and warm