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Dream defrosting

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  • Dream defrosting

    I open the fridge.
    In the freezer a forest
    made of a million speleothems
    crushed in a cubit
    begins to thaw.

    Ice-shards peel from the frozen peas.
    Ice-beads slither behind the butter.

    My teeth chatter.
    My frost breath curls
    hollow as a ghost — bleached
    as my father's blood
    when it disintegrated
    at that solstice —
    my feet chillblained.

    Hollow as a your grandmother's
    crying echoing among the dead.

    Mummified in ice
    blue irides stare snow-blinded
    in dead sockets
    under the tundra.

    There are my dancing shoes,
    the ribbons untied,
    tossed in a forest.
    Moth-wings glitter at my waist,
    my muslin lifted on a nocturne.
    Under chandeliers,
    under my skirts,
    upon parquetry polished to glass
    my satin slid.
    A thousand soles worn to ruins,
    the dancers immured

    among the substrata
    beneath the crisper —
    they couple and begin
    their shuffling.