40 degrees or 45, December has decided to show her face
and she winks as the bell rings
her pale skin brushing up under your grey corduroys.
Across the country people are winding down
chamomile tea steaming under tired noses
lullabies drifting frozen deep from within firelit homes.
This week has endured the lowest temperatures recorded in years
some places were in single digits all seven days
you shiver, seeing someone who reminds you
of a girl you knew in middle school.
She left all of a sudden, something about rehab or new beginnings.
You’re wondering how she’s doing now
can see her rosy cheeks against a sky you picture grey
somewhere in Vermont or New Hampshire
frost taunting her wrists near a yellowing cabin, dark in the woods.
Under layers of winter coats you imagine
the curve of her waist, your windbreaker snaps against your back
the sun recedes further, you swallow a breath.
You’re working on growing your hair out
so your neck won’t be so exposed
expanding your hat collection,
head feeling vulnerable recently.
You read in the news today that a woman pushed her husband
to his death during their honeymoon.
She said she hadn’t been thinking
during their argument on the edge of Glacier National Park
she didn’t mean to push him
she pleads guilty to murder in the first degree.
How strange love seems.
You’re climbing over cityscapes now
blood is thinning, paint cans rattle in your backpack
singing their seductive song.
You reach to pull a red one out
near 19th Street BART and lose your footing
sneakers slide along the side of the concrete
you are suspended for a moment
heart drops silent as a feather in a carpeted room.
Gravity takes its course and turns your body towards the ledge
where you just stood, you are half expecting to see a woman there
arms outstretched, a bewildered look on her face
like a child who just knocked over their mother’s china cabinet,
Remnants of the split second between suspension and contact
dusted on their fingertips
then pressed into your membrane.
Darkness reminding you how a second could be
an eternity how twelve hours later you wake
curled inside a pain like everything you’ve felt and
there is no girl above you
with outstretched arms, only the translucent outline
of what must be an angel, lips poised
in a succulent pucker, rounded and raw.
You claw your way ten feet up just to kiss her mouth,
drag your feet even further with her hands
on your shoulders, warm above your head
holding you between sunset and sunrise
where the clouds can support your weight
somewhere towards home.
You breathe out once.