North

This is where we learn to be
completely alone, even among others.

Frost but never snow, late in December
or at the beginning of the year.

Beautiful crust of ice rimming every head
of cabbage, so the farmers wring their hands.

Think of the cold and its scalloped edge,
the frozen pellets dropped by goats.

Eidetic memory: black cutouts of trees
against a brilliant sky.

How wine made from fermented rice
is sweet for a moment in the mouth

before a cloud of fire descends
into the empty gut.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Beachcomber.

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