In the Cold

by Jesse Glass
I was thinking how the lake
drags under a bit of the city

with each wild grab
like a desperate man in a crowded bar 

reaching for the till
before he runs.

I was thinking of the snow flakes
cut by the drop-hammers of the sky

& how the ice never melts
on the angels in the Polish cemetery

where the dead lie
rib to rib in the cold.

I was thinking of all coverings
abruptly ripped away

of the brain's heat tumbling
up & up—lost in a copper cloud

of a warm breath
squandered on a mirror

& of dull eyes staring at black water.

I was thinking of a weeping picture
of the mother of god

& how, at night,
in the dim cathedral

the heat clicks on

to keep the miracle warm. 

I was thinking of a room
so empty—dust echoes.

of a hand wrenched open
like a broken flower

of the brooding stain the woman wears
as she sings to no one on the library steps

& of a rat-toothed wind that can set a dollar bill
above the ice.	

© 2002 by Jesse Glass. All rights reserved.