Arctic Heat

by Amy Crane Johnson

Amy Crane Johnson is the sole proprietor of Syllables Freelance Writing in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The varied work of freelance writing, especially developing health and wellness materials for professional sports teams (including the Milwaukee Brewers and the Boston Red Sox among others) and psychiatric hospitals, gives her access to free game tickets and a multitude of in-patient services. She spends her spare time searching for a place in the woods in which to live deliberately. She's also the mother of two children, a husband and a dog. Amy has appeared most recently in Sheepshead Review and Alsop Review.

It is winter here and hard
to remember warmth.
Tonight a comforter

heavy with sleep
encourages dreams,
the soft uncurling

of bodies easy and languid
as August nights,
the slow

give and take.
We open ourselves
beneath a sky full

of moist summer stars, pluck
them like small, white figs and eat
until our bellies are full as the moon.

Each season has its own
that shift position, move

in their heavenly places,
fall to earth in their own time.
These distant stars wink

in feathered dreams
but remain cool
and tasteless. This slumbering

quilt opens my body
the way a hothouse lamp
forces an orchid.

In white heat I reach
for you through the dark
bedroom air, feel the Koho chill.

It is still
winter here and I am always

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