I had a lit jar
and I told the Winter, lying through my teeth,
that the incandescence was your heart--
or, at least, the spirit, or true intent, of your heart--
and that you had taken on a glass body
so that your biographer
could fingerprint your lovers
and make them, one day, over pastries in the afternoon,
admit their love
or their indifference.
What a fool the Winter was,
with a cardboard suitcase
and a phrase book that had been meddled with.
Smooth and obsequious as a maitre'd,
I ushered it into my jar
which held light, not from the desire of your heart,
or even the leavings, or the still-warm slag from your heart,
but from fire
and so many moths in their yellow-gold tunics--
Now, here you are,
not the way you were--
not the way I imagined you--
lacking only one tiny strand of a particular brand of devotion;
I cannot deny you--
my arm outstretched like a caution bar at The Holy Railroad Crossing,
I offer you the Winter.
I have it in my palm, cheek by jowl with a long green stem,
which might have ended in a rose.