An afternoon in winter

Winter strips life to the bones:
here are the trees of summer
with leaf, flower and fruit all gone.
Everything's clear.

There's a stillness in the air
I never heard in summer,
and, in this emptiness,
each ripple of life stands out.
I watch your breath.

And, when the music plays,
the skater spins her metaphor:
the world gives off its chill,
and you and I are balanced here
on a thin blade.

The spinning arms and legs
have come to rest.
The snow is deep. The night is near.
If my kiss doesn't warm you now,
it never will.

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