Winter Asides

by Jessica L. Kleinman

ONE long contagious winter sans cold or flu
but the next spring a fog with mono, solo.

At six, glittering with pride, I create life: a snowman
Dad tsks, couldn’t I see the snow was brown.

In cold tenement squint-watching my first roommate
Wondering if she'd tongued my ex Steven again.

Uniformed in khakis, buttoned down, a long January
flurried by with face frozen in garish grin. Welcome!

Making latkes with Mom during a snowstorm
She tsks, tells me I'll never get it right. I don't.

Working late December 24 you say Merry Xmas
walking out the door, ignoring my honking menorah.

Making love to Steven by the fire junior year
Kisses sweet and cold as popsicles. The mono-giver.

The blizzard of '98 I spent printing cover letters
after getting fired for printing my boss's cover letters

New Year's Eve as a third wheel at midnight
A lovely walk home alone -- apart from the mugger

Buttery brown in Cancun, best winter ever -- until
Sea urchin hiding in clear blue water I met thy sting.

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