Fall 2009 / Issues / Poetry 2009 / Volume 40

Winter — Kiely Prouty

When I see you, I’m going to wish you a merry Christmas.

I’m going to show you my hands

and tell you how they used to shake.

I’m going to shake

when I tell you.

The snow blows sideways in Cleveland. Our cat

keeps track of a single flake and follows it with his eyes.

I make us rice. I buy you lottery tickets.

And you

never win.

Merry Christmas. It’s been a real bitch. Today I slid

the truck into a curb and the dog bumped his head

against the window. I bought the champagne.

I guess

I’m celebrating.

There’s nothing to it. You move out.

I move in. Fit my things inside the corners–move

entire rooms.

I used to mop these floor, you know

I used to bathe these corners. Used to check on you

in the shower–your wine

slipping gently down the drain.

I have to remember

because I want to forget.

Merry Christmas. The snow falls slowly in Boise.

It falls the way it falls in your memory–a Christmas

with grandma. A dog by the fireplace.

This winter I am naked against the heater,

I am a tired person, who works a lot,

I eat sweet potato fries. I chase a beautiful girl.

And I

always win.

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