Speaking to cupboards, boiling green lentils alone—last bowl of winter.

Sky islands, snow hats. A child hand paints frozen tears, the snap of winter.

Running empty streets, exploding beams of streetlights—the bars are all full

with hot mouths steaming up the windows. Bared brown skin warmed against winter.

Gray ghost moths: hundreds gathering against screen doors, the hardwood doors left

open to summer temperatures and sunshine deep into winter.

Sade in headphones—yellow van to Istanbul, the Bosporus blue.

A false memory. Of a love former to love. Long months to winter.

Midnight, a spider’s nest inside an ear or lung. Either way fear lurks,

or uncertainty—oars stroke a dream’s long waters—one day, no winter.

Hush now, shíyázhí. There’s a witch who knows of you. Weakness is its cape,

the broom, a dead heart. This is no learned metaphor. But a cold winter.