New Year

How do you hold on to so much December?
The crystal clarity of your hands drip like ice
from the ghostly rooftop of your chest,
your face tilted to the globed flurry of street lights.
The frost is gathering in your tangled hair,
the crunch of time in your jaw
like boots on the virgin snow, our tracks
from house to car to mailbox, crisscrossing through
each other, the impression of teeth
left through the ground as the ice bites
on our sweet red lips, the still, calm dark
of the night lit with the saturated glow of cold and moon.

How do you let go when your fingers turn black
and numb, clutching at every memory
as the snow drifts into your eyes
like the stark white of a sterile hospital room?

Your arms wrap around me like the smooth glass
of a frozen lake. The sled of your smile
speeds across the corners of your mouth
like wild children, reckless with laughter.

The birds stand in the skeleton of trees,
take the circular flight of ribcages, refusing to migrate.
Like them, I am late for work, trying to carve
out the driveway, dig up the history
of a red 4 door sedan like an archeologist
with the delicate precision of a shovel,
etch out my survival, the proof of it
like a temple ruin in the Himalayan mountainside
waiting to melt.

Sometimes my memories feel like a recording
played in reverse, the guttural tongue of an unknown ritual,
a tone at the base of a spine like a skyscraper
anticipating a hurricane, groaning with sine waves.

But you’ve shown me how to wait for the warmth,
Every new day longer, spilling into spring,
But I need more. I’ve spent so many hours
piecing together layers of clockwork in my chest,
if only I could pile enough seconds in my hands
to lose one more night with you.

Even if death does not disappear,
we know that being reborn is only a matter of time.
Tomorrow is not just a new beginning
but another cycle in our life of chances
that our experiences together
has offered us the opportunity to take
until we are here, found in the endless now,
barebones, present, and being,
our voices rising through the television static
of the sky until our throats are, once again, full of spring.

So no, this is not the end of anything
or the beginning of another, but just the continuation
of us. The world is sleeping, but we are waking up,
the stove sparking with yellow flame,
hovering with breakfast.

You stumble from our bed, a clump of dirt
in your hands like a cup of coffee.
Your bare feet prickle as the heat
is sucked into the hardwood floor.
The earth is filled with seeds, new beginnings,
second chances, as you gaze past
the gray window, out into the morning,
your skin silky as hot marshmallows.

You bite into the dirt like a new apple,
and the sun’s magnetic poles flip upside down,
I can see stars unfold from within themselves
in front of your face, your stomach mapped
with the celestial patterns of heaven
like growing trees, an iris opened to the dawn,
like you have swallowed god,
strings of fire blowing back over your body
like a sunspot twisting itself into into flares, blue and gold.

the sun is here to watch, and to burn,
and eventually die, but before all that goes down,
I’m calling in to work drunk tomorrow,
and tonight, I’m holding you
even if you cough, the space between us
just a thin layer of twilight,
a knowing brush of eye contact and a smile,
the hour before anything could happen.

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