My street is the creamy centre of the universe, hushed
by ice crystals that descend like subversives over the grid and
free us, en masse, to learn their miraculous calm.
These crystals form sheets that sparkle as much as shield, and
in every quarter’s row house, shanty, or balcony, speak peace.
Nearby roofs, trees, and even cars, are soft outlines of themselves, set
along a street not yet haunted by noisemaker kids with sticks and nets.
The kids still dream of Poppa’s Saturday morning pancakes, asleep
till the sweet reality of the silver dollar-sized cakes waft in. And so
instead of them, I watch a lone man stroll under my maple’s overhang.
From her a sudden shrug spills ice crystals onto his hatless head,
in flurries that must have raced, as if on a slide, down his warm back.
Shocked, the man shivers and breaks into a prance,
A prance less like a pony’s and more like a clown’s.
At his jig I thought to laugh, but the softly descending snow
met his black coat like it did another’s in Trinity park one night.
It was a perfect night in reality, but my man hid imperfectly —
Shoulder too broad behind a tree, but just right to incite
a bookish girl to sparkle like a flake under the lamplight,
Spinning aground in bliss so powerful that it alone
brought life to Trinity’s half dead, mostly skeletal trees.
Scars plagued fearful women, I reckoned then
as I fell deep into crystalline madness only to be left
with fine-packed pain in these fine old bones, and
Upside-down smiles instead of avalanching laughter.
He, like other torches tall, shapely and bright,
Had to suck my air to fuel his twisted wax heart. And he
had to go dark, because for him I wasn’t fuel enough.
Humph! Let him . . . let them all shiver, I suggest to my window.
One man is as contorting and cold as the other, let them all shiver!
But she frames for my eyes,
a city in my desired state of being.