A poignant, beautiful requiem for Winter.
Christian Drake is a spoken word poet who has performed extensively across North America and lived in Washington, DC; Oakland, CA; Albuquerque, NM; and too many places in New England to name. Known best for his slam poetry, he also dabbles in page poetry as well. He is thirty-three and currently lives in his home town of Northampton, MA. He loves singing sea chanteys and playing roller derby. He hopes to some day visit Nova Scotia and Ireland.
It was a window that kept out mosquitoes.
A season both savage & dull, like a dog
gnawing a bone out of boredom more than hunger.
You were the bone, it the teeth scraping
like the snow shovels that rasped the sidewalks.
When the wind came from the North, it stripped
your warmth like housepaint. Buried you
in its oblique angle of sunlight, a cold fluorescence
like a xenon bulb. The deer starved & wandered
onto the highway to lick salt. There was something
called sleet, which was rain with knives.
But Winter could be merciful. The falling snow
thickened the air like a cathedral, but didn’t always
dissolve on the ground; it could stay. We even
called it a blanket. The world slept, fitfully.
It slept, & we were the dreams. We stayed awake
with the owls & coyotes. We cursed & stomped,
shook ice off, weathered the fugue. We schemed
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