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JANUARY 1, 2021

a fire

freezing rain

two kinds of crackling

something hits my cheek

and I can’t tell if it’s a bit of ice or a spark

he leaves me for a bit, goes back inside

when he returns, he asks,

now before I throw this in, is this yours?

he holds out a single sock

it appears to be thin wool,

green or blue or maybe both,

patterned at the ankle

I choke back a laugh

reminded of Monsters Inc.

and wondering how long he’s had it,

how he knew exactly where it was

no, that’s definitely not mine

after, I follow him back to the house,

moving slowly / not speaking

we didn’t bring flashlights

and there’s a layer of ice encrusting the snow

that makes me take small, unsure steps,

certain I am about to slip

in an unseen lump of snow

a new year

a few garments burned

the symbolic, slow collapse

of a fire built with plenty of

space underneath


there are too many Priuses

in any given parking lot

at any given moment

and every roadkill you see

is a platypus

maybe you are a wiser

person for knowing this now

but it is a delayed reaction –

some sort of overcompensation

for all the times you stood perfectly still

in his kitchen, brain darting away

while the realities of the situation

broke over your head like the eggs

he cracked into the enameled green

dutch oven on mornings you were

both still trying to come down

are you safe, now? what is safe?

is safe scanning the parking lot

every single time?

how long will you be making up

for all the times you did not flee?

OCT. 1

on the day we buried your mother,

I realize the importance of the delicata squash

sometimes I think my poetry is only good for recording days people don't want to remember



Lex Lanza (she/they) is a librarian-to-be who lives in the Adirondacks. She enjoys kayaking on small bodies of water, foraging for mushrooms, and hiking with her sleek black dog, Gilbert.

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