The Cold these days {the air outside of late}

is more than bracing, worse than stinging;

it hangs in rigid flaps at the surface of your face,

it swathes the night in frost and does not take skin

for an answer. It soaks right through it, into flesh, into veins

and runs through and through until the day you bleed it dry.

So thank heavens I’m beyond that now, beyond those days

when periodic bloodletting seemed an inevitable coming of age…

The air outside of late is brittle

and deals glancing blows to innocent cheeks.

My memory of you now is much the same


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