time is in sight but beyond reach

Written by: Hana Ryusaka

Winter is on the tips of her fingers.
Winter is silver on her breath as she exhales,
oxygen stamped with her name, forgotten
as either one,  
stiffening into smoke like her hair
against the twilight.
Her tears are winter on her face -
winter ice like her eyes when she can 
force them open.

Winter is in her poinsettia smile, 
wrinkles rising
while she remembers this scarf,
the first time she wore it,
that Christmas when he was there
to kiss her nose and give 
her champaine-promise, stomach-flutter
feelings again and again
and see her eyelashes when they filled up 
with snow 
like pearls on a string.

Winter is turning,
a music-box key 
in her throat as she feels her head 
bowing of it's own accord from the sky
to the dirty grey slush of the sidewalk.
Winter stops her ears to people passing,
wondering at a very old woman in 
a ratty old coat
and one
very red, frayed scrap of knitted cloth
bunched up in her claw fingers 
like the blood in her veins, 
becoming winter.

Winter hums christmas carols in her 
heartbeat while she shudders
and sobs against the cold -
and silent night, the virgin birth
slowing into a winter evening
lit only by streetlamps.
She grasps blindly at the whisper
of pipe-smoke and familiar old
love when his ghost hits her 
with a mistle-toe touch on her cheek.

She listens to the ice splinter,
cracking skin.

She wipes her face, trickling down
like the night to the street, hearing 
the clock tick, all those
longing little chimes like winter
on her senses.
It's twelve-o-clock now.

She shuffles on.