transitional

thin ice  my skin brittle  as fallen leaves The

death of a season  on your lips tastes like  

Worcestershire sauce  and orange juice my

tongue recoils/  citrus rinds thrown  in the yard

Rabbits were always  eating the lilies clenched  

between my teeth  I hold secrets and the

whistling from   my two front teeth   spreads

speaks  to The train  whistle crossed the tracks  

running  through our memory  You were daring

and  you stood  edge of the bridge  between

Death/  My eyes look over  the wall of fog

watch sandhill cranes lead  this blanket across

my  landscape  tuck in my body/  To dream is to

always stop yourself from dying/  a ghost once

dropped  a cigarette in my fingers  and I knew

they were making fun of my asthma/  When I

choke  and its smoke spooled in the bed of my

tongue  taste tobacco patchouli candles flame a

flicker/  When I choke on pizza and you reach  

into my throat  pull out the words  tell me to  

speak from breathe from   here and you punch

my stomach   you always could take my breath/  

into the cold frost coated tomatoes  This

conversation with  Death is cold beauty/  You

told me not to worry so much  as we fell into

the stream  drenched in cold car seats  and

broken heat  Chatter our bones together  a

rhythm  a beat our winter song  our pre-mortem

elegy/  play this at our funeral  sing the song of

cracked ice and   icicle coughs cutting our

throats

I’m really bad with names and,

I can’t come to think of anything but [       ], and the way it feels under a moonlit sky. How fog rolled over [       ]’s eyes like the shawl over their shoulders. I wanted to ask them, what was [     ] like? How did [ ] hold you? I wanted it to be like my toes nestled beneath the sand on the most perfect day. It felt like snow wrapping my desolate body, clothed in the wettest of sorrows, because in a whiteout there is nothing but moving forward or standing still. [       ] told me. [ ] told me that [ ] couldn’t bear the cold, told me that [ ] saw the sun and screamed, saw the door open on another morning and would cry. Why does it all feel so close to the precipice? Of what? No answers, but bones, my joints breaking the silence. Could I turn up the heat? [     ] always hated windows. Irony is like when the preacher is always spilling his wine, but it’s not. It's like being the coldest on your warmest day. (Alanis told us that “... life has a funny way of sneaking up on you…” and [ ] laughed when I said that my pneumonia woke me up puking every night and told me that Death was coming over the hills again. I hung myself (accident) later that year and lived.) I can’t come to think of anything but Death, I told [       ], or love. Because that’s it. [ ] said, you’ve been kissed. No I haven't. Not by the living, you’ve been kissed by the cold. [ ] loved that embrace, it was the only time I saw them smile. Like when they caught the shattered glass with their foot. What do you mean? The only way out is forward, is deeper. What do you mean? You could stand still, but you won’t. What do you— You could find the blood of a whiteout and love the storm. You could make it out dead, clutching life with your teeth. You could do it. [       ] bobbed their head to face me. [ ], you could always grant comfort to the chill, sweet child of winter, [ ]. Kiss my forehead so I may go forward. What do you mean? Silence is the storm’s gift, to quiet us all. Hush now, encite the snow. Kiss me. Silent.

Aidan Aragon is a poet from Northeastern Wisconsin. They can often be found chasing down their cats, listening to Mitski, or hopelessly trying to catch up on their growing, TBR list. Their work can be found forthcoming with Cosmonauts Avenue and you can find them on Twitter or Instagram @aidanaragon.

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