this is the first winter my skin hasn’t
cracked, the first winter
I haven’t seen the red scars belying
the first winter the flu has finally
wracked my body,
all shiver, all ache, exhaustion, heat wave,
a pain a body forgets because being in
the midst of it leaves no room for the
brain to record memories;
all there is space for is survival.
Last year there was liquor and gaiety
and this year only expansion
of the spaces between us.
They say darkness lies only
but in Florida the shadows rise
in the wavering mirages
off of the concrete, the height
of June, a fever dream,
until Irma or Maria or Andrew
or some other prophet brings
reality raining back.
I have been itching for years
to leave this town,
it’s endless summers
and sudden cold fronts.
Toward the mountains,
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