Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Other Side of White

It's quiet now, and I'm damn glad for it
Cold has set in - white, silver and hard
Absolutely brutal when it joins forces with wind
Slashing, pummeling, relentless
Entirely incapable of mercy
I can't draw breath

You want someone with a heart to scream,
Stop It! You're killing him!
But there is no heart here, or just a shark's heart, a wolf pack
Absolutely indifferent to your suffering
It will shred you if it can, and it almost does,
But then ten minutes later you're inside a warm building
On your way to a business meeting
Wiping tears off your cheeks.

Later, walking across a parking lot
Crossing paths with a man hunched below an
Oversize backpack, but that's no hiker
Under that too-small hat, ear flaps maligned,
Pants tucked into two or three pair of up-stretched
Tube socks inside cheap uninsulated work boots
You can almost feel how cold his feet are, almost,
And his coat is chicken shit in the face of this wind.

Where the hell is he going?
For a minute you want to tell him
Man, it's too cold to be out here.
Come with me, you can sleep on my couch.
But you don't because you're afraid that
He might kill you in your sleep or something

You want some one with a heart to say,
I am an inn keeper, come in and warm yourself, be my guest!
But there is no heart here, or if there is,
It's chicken shit in the face of this wind.

Within the shelter of the heated building
You congratulate yourself on refraining from
Saying something trite and physically impossible
Like, Stay warm, bro!
But before you can even feel good about that

Motherfucker, I got to be warm
before I can fuckin' stay warm.

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