Danielle Wheeler

Friday, February 27, 2009

From Blackbird


Wintering

Dakota Territory, 1884

Already, winter makes a corpse of things.
Snow reshapes what ice has taken. You've lost

interest in letters. So let sunrise come.
Let smoke grow darker by the light of day—

what I could spare of you I've burned already.
The fencepost needs repair. Let sunrise come.

Let panels of light make thirsty the ice-
caked stump of oak. Let the sky go empty

as December's intimations, when in snow
we fashioned ourselves side by side as fallen

angels: yours, the greater wingspan; my outline
barely reaching. Daybreak. I lay my body down

in powder. Roots torque up through the chest's
blankness, snarl of knots unloosed. What comes,

on parting you insisted, will come. Ice splits,
in the distance. What breaks will break. Let it.


-Shara Lessley

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