fire and ice

Longing
sat longingly,
long
in frozen veins

an ice-clogged current
slowing the river of desire
from flowing freely
to dangerous
and forbidden
destinations

over the years

inner fires
roared
nearly
hot
enough

spark to flame,
kindled calefaction,
solid ice to slogging slush.

rippling, if not rushing

flowing
toward

what? who?

a heart
my heart?
the heart?
gasping for the gift of
oxygen

but

feelings failed to flow
far enough,
fast enough,
before brutal
arctic winds
drove them back
to the cooler flames
of familiar fires

Now
they flow again
closer to the skin
insides turned out
welcoming the warmth of
another hearth

Together
the welcoming flame
and my own
internal embers
promise
and threaten
to thaw me
through and through

but my metaphor
like my life
is mixed

Is this a circulatory system
endlessly cycling
around and around?
life-giving,
but dependable,
predictable?

Or is it a river
flowing past,
never to return to the
same place
again?
going someplace else,
to give another kind of life?


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