You beam that it’s -25º Celsius! My voice burrows deeper inside my armoured mouth. Your arms seem to be spinning nacre in the vaporous light.

Your body turns to a map of isopleths taut beneath your skin—
hungering for your Antarctic cold perhaps—
bodies of scars, bodies of nerves and veins,
freckled effluvia. Bodies of glaciers. Bodies I inhale.

Your voice hovers above the cascading chill, rising and falling: one mutilated, but silken, wing. Casket of silence— borrowed, buried— tides without a moon.

Around my dark iris there bobs a ringlet of flambé-blue. On my cheeks an arbor vitae of blood hungering for my sun. You have eyes the color of icebergs, the color of wind over lagoons, homesick stars.

I want to ask what part of you is brittle, what part snowfield, blizzard but my lips have forgotten how to move. I am swallowing your radiations

I am learning to burn to keep warm.

©Mohana Das

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