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To Winter

       after the painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1563


You are catch-less, you are my abandonment—
You are my very own sweet crone.

Timeless slab of ice and raw scrub, you empty me
           to pitted fruit-stone, a sacrifice
To the green, green moon.

You stiffen, sexless as the whiskered ditch's roots,
           the sink-holed lawn,
           the pruned limbs—mere stumps.

You drain the lemon's pulp beneath its bitter rind.
You disclose the corded trunk's grizzle.

Absent desire, you are reduced to offshoot of silver
           maple, its thrust from

the throat's barked lock.
Stasis: this flame unfanned. A fallow wake.

Too, you are the snow fleas that swarm each footfall.
You are the breath that winnows the snow's
                       hard-pack like petaled clouds.

Unplait me.

I want this for us:
both the re-leaf and release of furrowed brow and chest.
To feel the blossom of a lover's breath.

To feel you untie the knotted throat.


Rebecca Dunham

Glass Armonica
Milkweed Editions


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