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.
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