Whenever snowflakes fall on my small porch
And my fireplace crackle in trembling cold
I sigh and bury my face into my cashmere scarf
Smelling of once familiar perfume
Every time winter clutches the summer-mourning world
You present me at Christmas
Snowflakes to sprinkle upon my roof
Fire to toast my bread upon
And the perfume that comes only in snow season
What is the magic of the winter
That hooks the petals out of my cloth?
What is the power of the snowflakes
Who freeze even the water in the dog’s bowl?
The ice ironically shatters in the season of ice
Why do my memories stream back to my brain?
Why do they choose to dive into my ocean?
The porch is straddled with snow next to its snow-bleached gate
Crystals of water slumber with odd branches of ice
The fire burns like so every Christmas and winter
Every ember a wish, a miracle not granted
Every burnt out log a remembrance of the owner
Of the scarf.
A charred wood log rolls out with a crackle
Cravings. Cravings. Cravings.
All I carved on the log
None of them akin to the shadow who disappeared
Leather winter boots with pink buttons
Withdrawn into itself away from the other shoes
In my cabinet.
It mourns a person of geranium and daisy
The avid reader the fireplace embraced
The tamer of snowflakes who would brush them
With soft, long fingers
The shy boots shuffle away
Continuing to mourn
The owner of themselves.
I don’t think this song as a serenade
Through all the snow piles and
Leather boots drifting with familiar geranium scent
Is it for you?
For the fireplace who has always welcomed both of us?
The furnace crackles on, engulfing the newly tossed logs
Is the force of death similar to that?
What if I cast myself into the fireplace?
Will I see the one again?
Like the snowflakes on my hot cup, will we melt away
Into water and do good to humankind?
The logs continue to burn in the flame
And I warm myself
Looking out of the window and flicking away the curtains
I like to think you are the icy moon
Seemingly cold but always watching me
At night I saw your face in the lunar planet
All the silver contours and sharp features
I shouted to you
“Has woe betided you? My dear sister!”
You never answered.
Your face and expression full of warm moonlight
I raced to the small dirt mound next to our house
And stared at your face
As you grimaced
The black faded and became ombré pink
You screamed as if demented
I said “Sister, my dear sister!”
I never heard a call so sorrowful.
“You are the hidden nightingale
In the bricks of our foundation
Spread my word to your mother!”
Dear sister, sing on in the moon
I hear your calls of moonbeams
And sacred, shy moonlight smiles
Do not bid me a teary farewell
Dear sister, do not accuse me
Of being late to call to your lunar presence
Maybe it is the golden Ursa next to you
That fractures your power
It catches me in a net
Never let me go
It may be the bear protecting from death
But as I see your shallow grave in the sea
In the rusty sunken ship
On a seabed of moonlight
I dip my head
Planting a carved log on your resting place
Your leather boots next to your sleeping blue eyes
And a melting snowflake on your nose.
And I see the moon still
But the Ursa is no longer appealing
I see death
It is a unpredictable universe in the world itself
No longer afraid
Even though it is fathomless
I run into your lunar embrace
And feel my wings sprout from my back.
The Stars stopped me from leaving
But you, my sister, the Moon, you saved
From what is another lifetime of fear
All I can say
Praise to death
You, my sister
The protective stars
And everything in between.
Your silver complexion is lustrous
As I rub my eyes
My leather boots getting muddy.
Have I dreamt too much?
Behind me in the sea, unknown to me,
A giant wave comes bubbling
With the sound of death
I dive into it.
I am not afraid.