like dreams;

“My mouth is a fire escape.
The words coming out
don’t know that they are naked
there is something burning in here.”
–Andrea Gibson

December// We are sitting in a hot tub in the dead of winter, falling in love. It is far below freezing outside but the water is warm like wet fire. I am submerged, only my shoulders are out in the air and the cold bites my collarbone in small explosions. There are blue lights below the surface of the water and our faces are illuminated with an ethereal glowing like mermaids. I lean my head back and look up at the night-sky, a million stars that stretch as far as I can see. My heart stops, my head is spinning and I feel certain that I must be dreaming. I always wonder when I am going to wake up from you.

February// It is a cold day, the air is wet with drizzle and the wind cuts like ice. Marina and I have been cooped up for days and so, despite the cold, we walk the long way from the parking lot to Roman’s classroom. I pull the wool hat down around her ears. I hold her little hand in mine and think how beautiful the moment is, about how I will have to write it down. The sky is shades of watercolor gray and in the distance before us, the big, bare tree branches reach up to the sky like black ink spilt on paper. There are turkey vultures sitting in those branches like omens. I am always trying to freeze time and it is always slipping like pebbles between my fingers, so I close my eyes and thank God and try to remember.

April// The season has turned, and for as long and cold as the winter was, everything comes alive again with an unfair quickness. The trees sway in their full saturated bloom–some branches are soaked with magenta and pink, colors so rich that they look like dreams. Blossoms and petals float down on the air and rush into little piles up against the street curb, in little rivers and puddles of velvet rose. I want to swim in them. The scent of spring is sweet and thick and when the sun kisses my cheeks I close my eyes and my eyes fill with tears of gratitude because I remember that I survived another winter. And every day something has tried to kill me and has failed.

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