Seated on flagstones that trap cold

in dovetails of cement, you rub oil

into the braid of reins, smoothe

parched cracks, and rasp the rust from bridles

I could lie back on the woodchest, try to keep you

in the damp and rotting mud-room by the lean-to.


Forget the dead and discontented winter,

close the orange curtain, bolt the plank door

to the attack of wind and stay with me --

between the stoveís thick smoke and fresh leather

tack -- stay --in the green heat of a kindling blaze

and the awkward angle of noon light.


Your outline fades in falling snow like breath on glass

Once again Iíve left the moment numb upon my tongue.


© Christina Salme Ruiz