(for lack of anything else to say, I’m posting here a poem a day….)

That first winter
(our strange shrimp-shaped child),
locked into the old railroad apartment
(our brassy new marriage keys) —
with the snow seeping through
the chipped bathroom bricks,
I nursed that child
before the open oven,
and we each took showers
with bathroom door hopefully open
to the kitchen’s meager warmth.

Our imaginative landlord
(poet-pretender,
great making of Christmas plum pudding)
attached an infra-red lamp
to the toilet,
mistakenly assuming
that plumbing, like flesh,
would succumb to its magic.

We could afford to laugh,
then, shivering
behind the radiant lie
that lined the loose edges
of the closed bathroom door.

I still feel the cold
of that first winter,
the cold of that closed door.
Cold as hell.

c elf 1960s