that winter

winter 200

On your left shoulder, a snowflake. You’re bare. You’re here in a city that has just died. The snowflake, it’s not a real snowflake. Ashen, spitfire sadness, a delicate crock of ugly lace. When they promised to push the big button, you had whispered something soft to your mama.

Now I look at you. On your left shoulder, a snowflake posing as crystalline cut of hope. On my left life, a promise. Keep you safe, you, the girl with the sharpness in her eyes, the black-bolt fear of rabbits on the run. The sky is forever dark. You stopped asking why the sky is blue because the sky will never be a color ever again. And when the men of this world made good on their wishes, you asked why people would want to hurt other people and I cried because it’s a truthful wondering; what is our motivation, even when made archaic in such a way that food, that copying to copy ourselves, that shelter is our only drive? Why hurt our last resounding resource; the us? The we? The tribe we were and have always been born into, not unto? Maybe we want to hurt because of the simple misunderstanding of that little latter. The unto. But I promise you it was not meant to be this way. It was meant to be very different.

Don’t look at me like that. Shh. Bunny rabbit. Bolt of lightning. Don’t.

You’re getting old enough to know that evil wins just a little bit more these days. Yesterday a wild dog glared at you, growl on its mouth, and you hissed at him. He didn’t back down. You didn’t back down. Not quite evil, but I saw something in your eyes I hope to never see again. You’ve changed. Bunny to rabbit to feral. I miss the infant of you. I miss the youthful crawl of your laughter.

On your left shoulder, a snowflake. You brush it off and pull your sweater back up the blade of bone. You turn back to me. You say that you think we can do this thing that’s called surviving. You’d like to make dinner tonight. You’d like to eat that dog.

Shh. Shh.


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