On the Differences in Snow Suits

Bones are heavier frozen, buried
deep in weather resistant sleeves,
a cousin’s half-beam, half-gloat drinks up
the piney winter sting, the fake mirth every family
glows as they link shoulder to shoulder
in the snow. Nobody else sees her–

in the puffiest of blue jackets,
the emaciation between herself
and the pretty laughs grazing
her shoulder; the camera

flashes and everyone’s
faces dim to truth. Snow debris
like calcium dust dimples her puffy
jacket. The exoskin may not feel
now but there’s a thought tickling
like unhealthy acupuncture: why
does skin fall the wrong way over her bones?

And why did nobody tell her she’d never
have the cheekbones to sing? Underneath
the color is bruised. The veil of asymmetry
latent, a rattlesnake wanting
the other side too desperately,

as dissonant bodies cram
into this insincere painting
of glass. Bodies,
young and old, torrential specks,
slip through a mother’s
clutch, as our grip never
reaches far enough
for our fate.

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