before the party

Written by: Jennifer Cahill

A tight fist of emotion sprouts flames in my chest
and I fan the flames with a chilled smile
chiseled like the block of ice 
stored in the freezer for the party.

I have stood empty as a discarded seashell, perhaps a clam's shell,
whose pearl should sparkle like the sun spattered sea, that is its home.

But it gleams like the moonlight 
castings its light across surfaces- changing them to white or silver, 
like the tops of carved glaciers, drifting as they change the shape of the earth. 

Too heavy am I to walk on these surfaces, 
even if it is frozen.

Seabirds wind up and spin lazily, 
calling the wind for their flight- or at least to float momentarily, 
like my spirit, needing so much to be released