Manuela Williams

In December

                  I’m just an ant
under winter’s boot
         I’m sorry
I’ve been sick twice on our nice rug
but look how relentlessly you scrape
it up with a dustpan
look how carefully the TV casts
its neon colors over the curve
         of your back
Nyquil arranges my limbs 
while outside the moon is a big
how could I have prepared
for weather like this
it fills me up
         with only a temporary kind
of satisfaction before going sour
         earlier I saw you outside shoveling
snow & the clouds broke long enough
to reveal a sliver of clean sky
a cut I could fit myself
into completely & crawl through 
         the winters back home were better
I’m sure
              but who can say 
what tenderness might look like
under different circumstances
& who can transcribe it
except in remembering 
how you once leaned over me
         & held a mirror to my nose
waiting for the cold glass to fog

Manuela Williams is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Witch (dancing girl press) and Ghost in Girl Costume (originally published as part of the 2017 Hard to Swallow Chapbook Contest). Her work has appeared in Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Bone Bouquet, wicked alice zine, and other magazines. She is a columnist for DIY MFA and is currently pursuing an MFA in Poetry at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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