“I thought it would be easier than this to
get rid of you. You’ve somehow gotten
past that last layer of skin, have burrowed
too deeply, too greedily between the
weeds of my intestines, hooked yourself
around my esophagus like you’re
going fishing. Bait the hook. Tell me you
don’t mean to hurt me as you undo the
catch from my lip. I need you like air; like
water, like blood. You are the perpetual
lump in my throat and I can’t get the
taste of you out of my mouth. See what
I bring up to not let go of? I study the
language of your hands and try to decipher
what this curve of your palm means. Is it
I love you or I don’t need you? The
function of the heart constantly lets
me down and in this kind of cold it’s the
only thing I can count on. Our bodies reflect
the heat and retain the winter. We grow into
our spines the way flowers grow into spring.
My mother never taught me the usual
ways of telling another body you can’t live
without its warmth so everything I am is clumsily
taped together, letting the light out. Your palms
open and close, open and close. Ready the
hook. I love you. I love you not. ”

– Kristina H.


aghh. i’m so glad i don’t hurt like this anymore. but isn’t it defining when you do? and i think we’re better, gentler, wiser, just … more … when we have. and mercy to those cruel hands and cold hearts who force it.


One thought on “Wintersong

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