48 HOURS BEFORE YOU LEAVE
Candles can be so contrived, you say,
unclasping your bra, tossing it
like a candy wrapper over your shoulder.
You may be right. I look out
the window to falling snow,
river blending with winter sky. We drove
to this remote cabin to spend our last
days, I taking pictures with my Polaroid
mind, clicking each flake,
snapping shots of afternoon light.
I clip them to the clothesline in my mental
basement, expecting results,
but they develop slowly.
Against the humming dryer, I dream
your severed hand hides
in my shirt wherever I go, touching
hairs on the back of my neck.
We speak of various ways to die.
I fear death by fire, charcoal skin peeling away.
You talk of drowning in freezing water,
wondering why Creation had such low
thickness standards for ice.
In the morning the fire has burned out,
& we see our breath as we make love.
I don't believe in deities. I believe in moments
of shallow respiration, hands pinned to sheets,
red locks spread on the pillow.
Within the smallest second, I think death may
be a willful loss of control,
an orgasm leaving us
limp, panting silhouettes,
yearning to echo each other's canvases.
When we bring in firewood, a flattened mouse
falls from beneath a log, & you fling
it by its tail into the woodstove.
You shake your head in wonder as its
flesh & fur blacken. Spots
of skin disintegrate, carbon blooms across its ribs.
We meet eyes as the stench swells through the cabin.
fiction poetry "fact" photography