The Smell of Heat

so summer

so long ago

as we walk now through the frozen grass

and hug our tatters close

though our overcoats are whole


oh, free me foul wind from your distress!

I cannot bear the taste of your breath

on my neck


feel me now wind


are you ashamed that you are taking my warmth?

look at me know wind

and count every goose bump on my back

do you feel your cold the way I do?


oh for the smell of heat!

the familiar rush

of a tendril of spring life


the warm bath

of sunlight

coming into my being

like a wave


yes, I smell this heat, wind

and I will not lose its scent

I will not close my heart to its smell


blow though you may

I will feel the life in me still

and the warm hand of spring

on my cold back

telling me that winter is passing


you are nothing to me wind

your cold hands have rummaged through my flesh

but they did not defile me


run wind

the sun is coming

children are laughing in the distance

and I can smell the heat


One thought on “The Smell of Heat

  1. I like the internal rhyming vowels in the first stanza. The tone seems to change abruptly from the first to the second stanza and I’m not sure what to make of it. It begins a kind of recklessness (up until the last stanza) in the poem that seems to keep what you’re feeling at arm’s length. I love “the smell of heat” and “I will not close my heart to it’s smell”. I wish the poem felt more cohesive to me. Even your word choices felt a bit muddy to me compared with your other poems, i.e. rummaged/defiled didn’t grab me. The last stanza is awesome! I wanted the whole poem to be like that – tight, spare, clear and to the point.

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