By: Katherine Boyle

There is and will be: a bath of moonlight shining into the solid ground.

We are before the snow, there are only pine needles

shivering beneath the trees, rattling in the wind and the icy rain of minutes and days,

silent and crunchy like the feeling at the edges of your blue lips

on the 19th night of November, far away from fluorescence.

I drive a rattling car for hours through the night and the clouds to watch as

my light shines into your arms and through your restless head

I cannot hold on to it, and I cannot hold on to you – attached by fibers of glass and ice

you will melt in my light and in the warmth of the unapologetic fires.

I will not hold on to your cold arms anymore.

At eight years old we run and tag and breathe in the cold night air.

Grossly unaware – with chapped lips and burnt lungs from Dad’s cigarette smoke –

we hide behind trees and bushes, and in the shadow of the kitchen light, we grow up.

We gasp for air, basking in the ecstasy of walking inside, into the kitchen

with ripped clothes and dirty feet, our fingertips crunched as they thawed over the stove.

There is and always will be: popcorn, in front of the TV, before dinner. 


A version of this originally appeared in “Comfort” The Teller November 2019 Issue #8

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