Prologue: warmth, your hands, your car breathing out heated gases. my watch ran faster, the frigid outside air making the spring tenser. 7000: I saw your spirit streaming from your lips, and then disappeared, inspiration slipping away to the ether on that cold, cold morning. Your warmth for me was visible as a touch of rouge on your cheeks, made so much more inviting in its framing of your smooth wintery teeth. 6500: I balanced the fruit on my palm, holding it out like a snack for a passing squirrel, one for you. We peeled our oranges in silence, looking so brilliant in contrast to winter's gray. From afar, we could have been mistaken for conjurers, making fire in our hands. 5800: Snow blew in sideways, filling the ground to the neck of a desperate desert flower, petals reminiscent of a chrome yellow, twitching in a frenzy, flailing to remove a fateful white cloak. 5200: Miniature flakes, distinguishable from ashes only by their brevity, left darker green patterns behind, melting into the sleeve of your winter coat. The zipping sound of rayon against rayon and your breath (with occasional sniffles) was a most graceful and reassuring flash of life through the sound of wind and percussive flakes crashing against my hat. 4700: the blue from your mercury-argon lamp. the snow made electric in fluorescent flickers because of your swinging, singing arms. 4300: A context-free line from a poem called My Indigo circled through my thoughts as we watched circling overhead stars. I tried to recall the star called the eye of the dog, the brightest save one, as our mild banter about the more romantic aspects of freezing to death together sent us rolling through the snow angels from hours before; "What is its name?" [--My Indigo, Li-Young Lee] 4000: reflections of heaven in your eyes. i faced the sunrise, you faced me. that moment clarified the tendency to proclaim violet a royal hue. Epilogue: fluorescing invisible. cloud cover could not protect us from sunburn.

©1998 Timothy A. Clark