Day 565, January 18, 2022

Perfect Cold

It is cold, like remembering an old car. There was the dog that used to steal frozen eggs out of the neighbor’s compost. My friend who would step outside to toss a pan of boiling water into the air creating snow. We are fragile simple creatures, the way a flashlight shone suddenly on a foot is perceived as heat. How something as thin as a surgical mask can feel as warm as a palm placed over one’s lips. We used to wear winter hats so we could smoke with the windows open. There is a tax for stupidity. There was a man whose bedroom looked out over the moderate city. I felt like anyone could look up and see me for who I was. My favorite winter was when I was younger and the snow was less heavy and not so frozen. My favorite winter was when standing outside felt robust and ruddy, the way life feels when you drink straight from the aluminum sap bucket, thirst never quenched quite like that forever after. The cigar that was laced with something and then we were lost in an unerring city. In my old car, the windows would sometimes freeze shut, the outline of nostrils and paws smudged into the cloud. Like the skier’s perfect snow, the perfect cold is fleeting, sometimes only a moment, like a great turn where the edge catches just the right balance of tension and release. The water. A hole where something has fallen through. The chicken font in the morning. The things hungry people dream about.

A second week with almost no chicken in the grocery store. Only a few packages of thighs
And several grotesquely large packages of breasts.


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