Here in Minnesota we know a true winter,
know the cold that crystallizes in sheets
over your shoulders like a desperation
to be felt. The stars drop ice across my face
and it hurts because of how much I love them,
and they don’t stop until I do, and I think I
miss when they were so far away that I had
to squint just to see them. And I say that,
but here they are, and I can’t let them go,
and my face is growing taller by the minute and
all this ice is starting to crack my skin. Right open,
peeled like an orange. You peel me open, and you
make me not make sense but you make me make
more sense than I ever have in my life. The snow
makes the whole world a barren white horizon, and
all of these footprints are yours.
I am a desperation to be felt;
I see my breath in the air,
in the winter, and it makes me
feel a little more real. Like,
look at this, the world knows I exist.
See the way the air curls?
I know I exist when you look at me, and all of the
hard lines in my body turn soft. When you look at
me and all the words melt, and I wish they
wouldn’t, I wish they would stay and mean
something. I wonder if I will ever look at you and
not feel this breaking apart, slow and quiet and
sweet. Birds, singing on a winter morning, when
everything else is dead or hiding. Singing. The world,
buried and silent under blankets, and birds. Singing!
And the sky in the really early morning, shades of
pink like summer couldn’t even dream of. The kind
of sky you stop your car for, the kind that makes
you forget how to breathe for a second. That
reflects off the ice and makes the ground glow
and the headlights look brave, hangs in the air,
gently, even after it’s gone. Everything fresh snow.
All of these footprints are yours,
do you get it?
They will always be yours.