In this house I enter sleep like a freezing lake, slowly, so the air
isn’t knocked from aching lungs. Toe, ankle, shin.
Then I’m awake and smashing the ice from below.
There’s nothing to eat but fruit from baskets sent by friends
and I couldn’t care less about the fate of the world.
When I read I lose my place between subject and verb.
The car is the fake tier of a wedding cake, fondant covered,
and the few brown leaves attached to branches make the trees
look even colder. I miss those muffled walks we took
in pelting sleet though the bundling up was better
the way that girding myself was better than my first kiss.
If I’m right, last night had a different weight from the night before.
But which was lighter I cannot say, any more than which
of these two spoiling pears I hold in my unshaking hand.
RICHARD-YVES SITOSKI (he/him) is a songwriter, performance poet, and the 2019-2022 Poet Laureate of Owen Sound (Ontario, Canada), on the territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Fire, Train, The Fiddlehead, The Maynard and a whole bunch of others. He is the 2021 John Newlove Award winner and a 2021 Best of the Net nominee. His latest book is No Sleep ‘til Eden, an augmented reality multimedia collection of poems on the environment. Visit him at rsitoski.com
RYAN RUSIECKI grew up in Westchester County, New York and received his BFA in photography from Bard College in 2020. He currently lives in Kingston, New York where he is pursuing a body of work that investigates the complexities of the recent migration to the Hudson Valley. See more of his work here.