A Reckoning by Chris Chrittenden

cold hunted
through the little forts in the walls,
chilling the mice that murmured
on the perimeter of our bed.

we heard their lonely memories
above our whispers, and pretended
the candle on the nightstand,
shivering beside us,
was the last dram of a tiger,
defiant in our shared orange gaze.

we touched that night
as if our fingers were lava
and we would wake forever as one,
inscribed on the windy side
of some tragic mountain.

our kisses
offered the smallest of antidotes
to the prolific snow.
our hips limned an equator of desire,
turning away from the jaws
of insatiable February.

this home, our galleon, had been
among the constellations too long,
much older than the gyres
in our fingertips.

the sharp logic of the stars
poured through our bedroom windows,
vengeful as leaks
in a reckless container.

it was inevitable we would
merge in troubled sleep,
sensing the silken frost
bind hardbitten trees;

and the shoals of dragons in torn branches,
practicing their claws.


Chris Crittendenlives in a small town a long way from any traffic light, though surprisingly we do have a world-class chocolatier. He is pretty well published.