Temperature

Photo by Greta Unetich

By Greta Unetich

This December 

The snow falls beneath the streetlights, 

My guardian angel, 

As soft as it ever has— 

Saying you name and touching my face. 

The clouds are as bright as day. 

I squint upwards towards each of the one million tiny, white prayers. – 

It feels like it is snow from the past, all but aimless and impermanent in my memory. It feels like my eyes have seen this before, illuminated in exactly the same way. 

– 

Twenty minutes later, I step into someone else’s warm apartment. My hair is damp. Snowflakes melt on my clothes in the temperature of the room. The snow still falls soft across the center of the city, across the open fields on the outskirts of my soul. You crawl into your bed, and I follow. I didn’t know if you thought I would. We sleep, curled together like a breath of wind, and the snow still falls soft on the other side of your wall. 

– 

Yes, it is different, but it is better, better by a hundred times, better by the temperature outside, better by pressing against your back like it means something. I always open my eyes first, and you are always facing me with your hands beneath your chin. 

– 

I think of a toothbrush that belongs to me, sitting on the edge of a bathroom sink that’s not yours. Or mine. I think of sleeping by your side. 

Maybe I would if my slate was clean. The snow tapping at your window late at night wipes it clean. I can hear it when we’ve finished talking, in those few seconds when I am falling asleep. The water runs over my shoulders. How can I say no to you now? 

– 

These past two Decembers are the coldest I ever remember being. It was like being stuck in a deep, navy blue sleep where I never dreamed. Now, my hands don’t hurt because they’re not cold, because you dream every night, even when you’re with me.

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