Winter calls from the next room,
Sitting quietly with cigar and brandy in clenched fists
(After the children are sweetly, warmly in bed),
Singing dirges by the roaring fire pit.
She is a cold bitch, the winter.
She is qualified, from practice, to rip the freckles
From our sun-kissed backs,
And to steal our blooms of April away,
And to rend the plump harvest from our fertile grounds.
I stand naked in the kitchen—
The heat blisters on my skin,
And I remember the hot, hot days in mama’s kitchen
When the air would break and stop,
And we would open the windows and doors
To hear the summer sounds
And to taste the summer sweat
In sweet, hot days.
I sink in my teeth down to the seeds in my apple.
I dip my hands down, down into the deep water.
I sink my teeth deep into the fleshy center of life.
I capture in my cupped hands the fragrant waters of life.
While that bitch, that winter,
Sings her simple song by the roaring fire pit
That threatens to tear the whole house down,
And you and me and the children warmly sleeping with it.
She sings to me to gather my rosebuds, gather them good;
To hang them upside down ‘til the petals crumble in the fruit.
The fire and the song merge in symphonic destiny
And threaten to burn the whole place down—
Me, naked in the kitchen,
The children, warm in their beds.
April 27, 2008