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These Winters Without Ice


These winters

without ice

are strange

in their blanched lucidity

of mud and earth.

The world is burning

what is to come

is burning;

we are alone

between

the past

and future,

an island

ringed by murk and ghouls

and by propensities

for unusual hope.

Disease is rife

so too a strange

blindness

where vision

depends

on the swerve of hot pixels.

It is not safe

to walk across a field

with its ribbed branches

of wet shadow

and see a squirrel breathing

because then we remember

who is burning.

If I was to

record

what happened

I would say nurses worked their hearts to the bone,

and we could not breath.

If I was to record

our precognitions

I would say

the spider webs

were grey upon our blood trees.

And birds flew

uncaptioned

across the skimming sky.

This place

where we cannot see to look

is nobody’s.

Only occasionally

a glance in the direction

of time

and the heart shatters

into ribs

of obsolete

cold.

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