Emily Chase, All In Knots (Skirt Detail), 2013
Drawing paper, paper tape, vellum, spray paint, acrylic paint, ink

It’s human to want warmth.
Winter tulips longing to flower
again, a trumpet of skirts
in their underground season.
The living will find heat.
Yet, cold will meet you
anywhere. The body knows
how to keep what it needs most.
Strange how a coming winter sets
fire to the trees, a sea
                              of falling fever
hemming the sidewalk
with temporary death.
Find where you feel safe
and go there.
It takes such little effort to live
this way, to let the minutes
fill a moment, like a morning
so thin it almost touches
the hours of yesterday.
A white nightgown
of frost                           effacing
a country road, a country road
with hard shoulders,
nothing              to lean on.
There’s a reason barn swallows
spoon eggs into mud nests.
There’s a reason
why moths perish in flame.
Who hasn’t been soothed
              by heat? The cat curled
beneath the hood of a truck,
what affection she must feel
for that purring engine,
enticed               by a hot envelope
of air.
Because the heart is a machine
for living. It knows what it needs.
Because love of love
                            is deceptively easy.


Kristene Kaye Brown