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Contents Page: October, 2010, vol 6 no 3

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Keith Heiberg

Winter Romance: Diastole

We are at the cabin during a heavy snowfall. In the evening her dog needs to go out, so we take flashlights, swinging bright cones of light like Jedi knights in a snow-globe. But our own lights blind us, so we shut them off. To our surprise the snow has its own light, a mystical glow from all directions. But there are no streetlights, no neighbors, no moon. Where does the light come from?

            heavy snow of light
            the stars laden with wishes
            are falling to earth

Her lab runs ahead, a black blur against white drifts, back and forth and left and right -- and gone. We slow, stop, push back our hoods. A faint hiss. All around. The snow is falling so steadily it seems to stand still. Suddenly we are rising, forest and all, free of local habitations and names.

            all our selfish dreams

It might have been a minute or an hour. Slowly we brush off our hair and look around. There is only snow in all directions: Hansel and Gretel in a blizzard of breadcrumbs. She calls the dog. He appears, tongue lolling, head drooping, panting quick clouds of steam. Still his eyes are patient.

            love in black and white the long way home

But as the weather warms our relationship cools. By summer I am pacing the beach alone. Returning to the cabin one last time I see an empty chrysalis under the eaves.

            only the shell

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