Winter.

A few summer mornings ago, when I was still in Chicago, a co-worker relayed to me that the day was to reach a record heat.

I leaned back in my chair; I didn’t skip a beat. “A lot of people are going to die today,” I replied.

*

And they did.

I shit you not — that day was recorded after the fact to have been one of the bloodiest days in history, up to that point. I recall shaking my head when I read it. I knew I had known, but to have it proven? I suppose I had wanted to be wrong.      Yes, I had simply wanted to have been wrong.

*

When I walk at night, in winter, I can hear footsteps behind me. The cold stirs up echoes, presence is easily known. But I don’t hear footsteps; I see soft white ground, untouched by feet. Others are hunkered down, inside homes. There is peace.

Blood springs to my cheeks, to let me know I am alive. My nostrils and my eyes open wide. The fire is my inside.

*

To bemoan winter is to bemoan a chance to recover. To fall prey to silence, when silence is what we need.

The summer is around the corner. Temperatures will soar, as will emotions. We will tear the ground up with our feet. We will bare our skin and release our beasts.

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