Late in autumn they come inside. They have heard us fighting, and smelled the small venoms we carried from room to room. At first, we were afraid because we had been hurt before. But as one walks across the table, over the crags of my knuckle, he forgets his rage, that small, segmented emotion. First snow: we notice the delicate bodies. We see the frosted husk of an empty hive. Our wind-up toy travelers drift through the chilling air, chest-level like half-filled balloons. They fall asleep in the carpet and in November we build fires, abandoning our nests of anger, giving up the pinch that separates head from heart.
Scott Provence was a nationally-ranked gymnast until he discovered that words were more flexible than the body. He recently received a Masters in both fiction and poetry from the University of Washington. Some of his recent work has appeared in Harpur Palate and Poet Lore.