Winter for a Moment Takes the Mind
{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Jayne Pupek

holds an MA in psychology and is a poet and novelist from Richmond, VA. Her first novel, Tomato Girl, is forthcoming from Algonquin Books (2008).

Also forthcoming in 2008 is a book of poems, Forms of Intercession (Mayapple Press). Her chapbook, Primitive, is available from PuddingHouse Press.

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Wintering in Detroit, 2024

These are the days of backed up plumbing and roaches beneath the fridge.
We said we could do this.
We wanted no roots, no obligations.
The proof of our existence is found in what the body secretes.
I am oil stains and blood hatchmarks on the bathroom wall.
You are blue tears and saliva.

Where did you find the wax crayons, the dead bird?
I spent years looking for them.
The skies whiten in winter and all is lost.
My skin registers the temperature of this room and it is cold,
getting colder. The meteorologist on channel 3
is rumored to smoke weed, but I believe him
when he predicts the pipes will freeze across this city tonight.
You read in the dailies
where legions of soldiers joined forces with goodwill ambassadors.
They are coming in with blow torches to hold off the next Arctic blast.
We are supposed to believe them.
We are supposed to have faith that intervention is never too late.
All around us, the plaster crumbles. Dead birds fly out.