I found you once in adultery, next in shame.
A flame has no place in this cold.
A row of gentlemen lining up
Under the cover of night beside death
Closer coming they to the breath that burns
Than I, naked in this northern wind.
All these people, roaming from home to home
Waxed and weaning,
Into a life of candle passing candle passing…
As only amphibians know.
Skin peels back to bleeding thistles,
Cracked as ice in sadness,
Joints swollen to the size of a poet’s head
Which snow burns dark.
It is not the flame, the fire
But the burn that reminds me
Of insufferable you and how much
I need you to live.