Deep Freeze

Frost's knife traces the sharp edge of a leaf,
the air slices my lungs. Across the river
the ice is parting. I could not believe
that it would hold my weight, and I would never

have dared but for you. Holding my hand
you lead me out on to the glassy floor.
Nervous now, my tongue skates once around
my cracking lips. You would not let me fall,

you assured me. This winter the ice is breaking,
my heart is cold. Skate round the edge again,
see the shape this frozen smile is taking,
the arc I make upon the mirror. Then

your breath, your bladelike tongue, upon my lips;
the melting outlines of the frost unclear
beneath the heat. How treacherous the gaps
between the plates of ice, how close. How near

these icy wounds are to the razor's edge.
Come, let me clutch you as I venture out
across the water. Come now, let me catch
the moment of that crystallising shout

of pain.

This is a dream of days to come.
Here and now, the river has not turned
to ice. The water has not turned
to blood, but yet the punishment will come.

Hold me, hold me now against the frost,
Hold me close against the thawing sun.
The silent sword of winter will fall fast.

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