By Raegen Pietrucha
My favorite ornaments distort
me to an impossible glitter,
frosted silver slivers.
I still remember winter trees,
how their snowmelt crackled
as if somewhere, a fire already called.
It hasn’t yet been a year. I don’t miss
Midwestern cold. But there was a boy
in the place I left behind –
he had always seemed impervious
in his thin shirts, threadbare jacket.
But now I think maybe
he’d been incinerating,
lit from some hidden inside.
Can the heart be enough fuel
to keep any of us warm
for long? A friend told me
that after I left, the boy went away,
too, for a little while –
trailed for months, a vapor,
down padded white Zoloft halls.
If we all eventually run out, endure a freeze –
if, finally, we’re all left as abandoned
as annuals by sprung leaves,
how has he not thought
to curl his frail parts up
like these evergreens,
still clinging to their last few brittle
needles through New Year Eve’s,
where my resolute wish
while packing my warped orbs back
in bubbled plastic will be for all things fragile
to never again see the likes of me?