The Cold is a surgeon, unfeeling and precise
With scissors and scalpels and saws
And long probing fingers of ice.
Before The Cold it matters little
How much or what you don—
With scissors so precise The Cold snips—
Snips away the layers of cocoon
You’ve been cradled you in.
Before the cold you are utterly bare.
And with the scalpels The Cold slices
Right down to the bone.
And into the bone The Cold saws
So into the marrow with long probing fingers
The Cold can inject
The Cold’s self.
Then The Cold will sew you up
With an ever-sharp needle
To bind up your bones
And seal The Cold inside—
An ever-present friend, you are ever unable to shake.
Warm is emanating off the heater under the window
Right beside your seat in the rattling rumbling train
So, purring and grinning like some soft milk-dewy kitten
You curl upon it and warily doze.
Warm is the top bunk in that hostel dorm
Rushing up to catch you as you topple
Cradling you as, at last
Days weary from crossing oceans and plains and mountain ranges
And stinking of trains and stations
It is a torrent of thankful water
Like a faithful long-lost friend combing the days from your ragged hair
Rushing to tend your grimy sticky skin
Ease your wander-aching muscles
Comforting you and warding you
So that you are as reluctant to leave the warmth
As you are to leave your lover’s king-size bed.