Blustery

Blustery 25-below, O Walt, I wouldn't go
And live with animals tonight—
Or anytime soon. How do
They survive in their snowy lairs?
How could I, for that matter, who
Haven't taken the wild Swedish plunge 
Every chilly night to thicken my fur layer 
By layer, I who doze by the fire 
With the phone to my ear,   
Doze the whole new year
Listening to my wife in such weird 
Zone-warping tropical heat, naked, 
Whispering her desire for 50-below,
If it brings her home. That's fur
Of a different nature, Walt, layer
Upon layer of love that glows, grows
Over us like a sun-lit coat.
O we are hothouse flowers, Walt,
Naked and limply alive in a narrow
Equatorial band. Otherwise, we die.
Walt, we must make do
With our lovely human hair.

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Cold Morning

Through an accidental crack in the curtain 
I can see the eight o'clock light change from 
charcoal to a faint gassy blue, inventing things

in the morning that has a thick skin of ice on it 
as the water tank has, so nothing flows, all is bone, 
telling its tale of how hard the night had to be

for any heart caught out in it, just flesh and blood 
no match for the mindless chill that's settled in, 
a great stone bird, its wings stretched stiff

from the tip of Letter Hill to the cobbled bay, its gaze 
glacial, its hook-and-scrabble claws fast clamped 
on every window, its petrifying breath a cage

in which all the warmth we were is shivering.