These winter mornings die in my feet.
I cut my hair short for you in summer,
now I am so cold.
Yesterday an ember burned my leg.
When you returned you kissed the welt
and said you’d buy me a housedress.
The boulevards are snowed over.
I wanted something to read
but the merchants along the quay
refused to open their stalls.
I picked branches this morning
and stripped the dead elm.
Tell me it will soon be spring.
You will bring me flowers
and we’ll travel to St. Denis
where I’ll light candles for my mother.
I want to feel warm enough to be naked
instead of straining before this fire.
Stuart Dischell is the author of Children with Enemies (University of Chicago Press, 2017), as well as Good Hope Road, a 1991 National Poetry Series Selection (Viking, 1993); Evenings & Avenues (Penguin, 1996); Dig Safe (Penguin, 2003); and Backwards Days (Penguin, 2007). Dischell’s poems have been published in journals such as The Atlantic, The New Republic, AGNI, Slate, The Kenyon Review, and in anthologies including Essential Pleasures, Hammer and Blaze, The Pushcart Prize, and Good Poems. A recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, he teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at University of North Carolina Greensboro. He is a contributing editor of AGNI. (updated 4/2019)