Juniper thawed

I miss the smell of cold when you’re young
and it’s a fleeting thing
not yet sunk into your bones
not yet traced across your skin.
Cold smelled like warmth
like a patchwork quilt with an
ancient current, a magic current.
Smelled like hand-me-down t-shirts
as nightgowns, and like one more
chapter before bed. Cold smelled
like the earth searching for spring,
then settling in on itself
a patient purgatory waiting for
something to grow. Like one moment,
paused,
and hot breath to thaw the window.
Cold smelled like a lifetime come
and gone. Firewood burning,
a year up in flames. Lore of the past
reading palms of frozen beings –
handling seasons of our lives.

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