Mike Merli

It Was Winter Everywhere Inside You

Do you remember the night I read Yeats to you over the phone?
Denver was a struggle and it was winter everywhere
inside you. You wrapped yourself in pain, a familiar warmth
against your skin. You couldn’t sleep and I sat up, tried
hard to breathe through the phone but home was hands and feet from me.

All this forward motion has me lost in control. I’m not afraid
of what you’d say but what you said. You asked me if I took
the moon and in between sobbing sterile breaths

you told me you flushed your strength away.
I’m not okay. I’m deaf. Withered.