Trudge through drifts of snow,

I manage to find home.

Space enough for a mouse.

Beer and mayonnaise in

small fridge, hand-me-down

rocking chair for furniture.

My breath, like a wanton spirit,

rises from my mouth, entwines

with the frigid air. Heat off.

I go to check the breaker: broken

for some time.


Pain swells in my stomach, coiled and venomous.

I check the bills in my wallet, tattered, old. Enough

for two more days: if I skip today,

two days of meals afterwards, then

my next check.


I surrender as my knees buckle.

Air becomes motionless, cold wraps around me, an old friend

comforting me. I sink to the floor, beaten. My back curves in

like a hag’s. On my knees, my head bows, no strength to stand,

and my body turns to gelatin.