teeming frost line

this year the undertakers will begin
to live different lives
before the ground thaws

tripping through graffiti-coated tunnels
while a radio station broadcasts
gamelan music

is a flashback
returning to the underground
sober and no longer terrified

by the silence
is a flash forward

when you forget to flex and rhyme
before leaving the house
cracked words will rattle on over ice

prepositions will stack up
on a broken conveyor belt

it’s never too cold to snow
despite what you’ve heard
everything gets amplified in this weather

jets scrape across the sky
a snowblower revs its engine
radiators hiss at the creaking wood floor

another debate rages in your head
do you run do you stand still and pray
the animal won’t see you

you could use
a thicker coat of fur
your mining days are over

a box is not an insertion
till the trees smile again

trees don’t smile
they send warning signals
to their neighbors

nutrients pass through
a network of fungi
buried beneath

laughter camouflages the cough
in another body of water
another body no longer at rest

swipe through the Instagram feed again
sea smoke and frost on the rocks
off the coast of your island

a Royal Winnipeg Ballet School dancer
reaches the edge of the frame
with her left toes

a house holds up a mountain in Norway
is that grass on the roof
or a foothill to hope growing slowly

even in this cold
with days stretching pica by pica
in low light

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