Cold Snap

I spend the day
putting paper in boxes,
ledgers on shelves; fishing
receipts out of their yellow
warp. The Christmas plates
go into annual storage: the fifth 
one is tired of turning golden 
rings over and over in place. 
The miracle of paper is
how long it stays whole until 
calculations distill as ink. 
Tap down each vertebra, 
listening for the hollow 
not filled with rubber or
ashes. You say it may snow 
tonight, though really you mean
tomorrow night. Cold shore, 
cold fog, the silence of stones 
ladled out by skittering sand
bodies. Time is a trickster 
as always: we jump 
in and out of its nets.
 

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