Snowy Words

The buses shut down
so we, the drunks,
walked home.

The cold air slithered
around red drinking ears
and a breath curdled.

The circus tents beyond
the slate walls burst
red under the snow.

You twirled and spun
on the black ice,
your coat extending

like a full tulle,
flung yourself into my
tight-rope-thin arms.

You almost asked.
I almost said.
And there was the snow:
   so delicate.

One could reveal something here
and tomorrow it would be a different world.
One where we hadn’t.

When it snows words can be erased
like breath from air.
So I didn’t say.

Risks are not made for nets—
the ropes should sway with weight
and helpless breath.

The trapezes
should feel not lightness
but gravity.

Jess Alberg

Jessica Alberg is a northwest poet currently living in NYC. She is a double master of poetry, with an MFA from The New School and an MsC from The University of Edinburgh.

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