Blind Winter

Beijing kisses like a chronic smoker,
or the grit that’s sticking to the soles
of your shoes, or your grandpa
just before he died. If she were a band
she’d play the blues. And she’s made
you dumb, she’s got at the thumb
you peel mandarins with and left it
chapped and cold, she’s made you small.
The weather kicks you like a cat
with a ball. But this is your habitat,
your chance to choke when a wheeze
in the hiss and spin of things is nothing
louder than a sparrow sneezing; this
is your folk and your smoke, and your
grandpa died thinking about shoes.
Sometimes the blues is hard like that.
So you ford snow like a swaddled child
exploring the stars on your own road,
the town lost static on a taxi radio,
or a sax solo, or a hand peeling strips
from a mandarin; your heartbeat thinner
than it was a year ago and your feet
shaking the grit out like dragon spit
but your soul alive and heading home
in the only winter you have ever known.


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