what i felt in the snow when my father said “never come back”

i wonder if salt stings the snow.

rock-salt—all sharp, shattered and mud mixed—

cuts what appears to be new skin—

changing its nature—the boiling point,

the freezing point. i avoid such with my skin.


snowflakes fall from an afternooning

sky—stiched to predecessors in a blanket.


snows are just the cells of a man or a woman

who has been cooped up in a cloud

come down to open up—limb by limb—

to lie down with a spouse, arms stretched out.


each cloud is an office. each landscape is home.

the sky is water’s commuter route.

cell by cell, a whole body blows to the office and home again.


i get this fleeting feeling that angels lay snow

on landscapes for god to visit. he avoids snow

that is cut, moved, or not at home.

i kept moving my chance to see him,

kept pushing it out of the way—the whole body—

driving over it, trampling it, salting it, dumping and piling

it in solid sweating blackened mounds.


before the snow started something whispered: keep quiet.

stay outside. stand like a tree. bate your breath, when

the first flake falls. when it snows on you—my tree—

do not brush off your shoulders or hat. if you can,

stand in the weather shoeless and shirtless. avoid using your pockets.

expect the snow to melt on your arms and eyelashes.

it may feel like death, but you are my tree after all.


silence is the noise you cannot hear—

the sound of eve’s first bite echoing.

i don’t want to see god that way—in the snow with my shirt off, angels staring,

so many blankets and bodies lying about, avoiding movement and pockets.

i feared being a tree to be a son, salt, and having any father at all.