When waking, the dream
is lost. When opening a door,
winter peals: is there warmth enough
to flood these ghosts?
Numbness changes color
in a kitchen with the oven cracked.
Ice thaws in eyelashes, through hair,
on lips that failed to catch snowflakes
between them, on coats, turning to pearls.
In artificial light, a body transforms
back into a body, and the lost no longer
look through us. I seek shelter
in the spaces where even I cannot find
anonymity and those footfalls belonging to—
what? I am drawing circles around us, creating
our private universes and naming them
friend to all and she who wants to
understand too much.
I open a window to invite winter in
in branches only, in those arms
that may have loved us once.
The window open all night, I dream
snow, drifting down the hall,
and never grow cold.
Mary Simmons is a queer poet from Cleveland, Ohio. She is an MFA candidate at Bowling Green State University, where she also serves as an assistant editor for Mid-American Review. She has work in or forthcoming from Exist Otherwise, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Shore, and The Santa Clara Review.