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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


the past

and future,

an island

ringed by murk and ghouls

and by propensities

for unusual hope.

Disease is rife

so too a strange


where vision


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


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


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


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