A Bite of Cold


it's 6 degrees below comfortable
inside the house on Shoulders Hill.

the air is icy enough to slide through the fibers of my shirt,
slip through my sweater threads,
and snip my skin.

nibble, nibble, nibble
little frosty canines
bite, bite, bite

last night, i stepped into a cold, shallow puddle
on the cement
wearing socks

flop, flop, flop
little soggy sheep
squish, squish, squish

the curls of my pajamas are filled with crushed slush
and while I'm asleep
my joints clench their jaws

my nerve endings shrink,
my lips become raw,
and my fingers, steel.

i want be warm and dry and joyous 
like that impossible Snuggles Bear
but tonight

security is a long way away.