To The Compost Bin and Back One January Sunday

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All the way between the crispened white doorstep

across the ice-angry parking lot and over

to the compost bins papakha’ed in acid-white velvet,

my ungloved fingers cry of the injustice and pain.

We’re dying! We’re dying! the wave of screams

accuses me even as I swift back

across the ice-pocked parking lot and over

to the ice-metal doorknob

that requires my key to salsa in just the right appealing rhythm

before it deigns to open and let me in. Inside, I ask my fingers,

Are you happy now? I don’t think anyone died.

In response, the ten tremblers send fire spine-ing

up my nervous system to my brain. We’re burning! We’re burning! We’re going to die

of the beloved precious heat! It’s all your fault!

The bones within struggle like kidnapped bodies sealed in sacks of skin,

one soul wanting to be out in the cold, the other desperate to stay in.

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The Papakha is a historical Russian army hat: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papakha

Image credits in order of appearance:

By Vaido Otsar – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29501791

By Ryan Mahle from Sherman Oaks, CA, USA – Flickr.com – image description page, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=342193

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