Christopher Kuhl

The Plain Fact of the Matter

 

Across the road on a below-

zero deep February day, I see a man

riding his bike, struggling

 

against the northwest wind. On

days like this it seems a losing battle:

the air is thin as hope,

 

hope thin as the last pale light 

of the Garden, already foreshadowing

trouble with the unsteady rise

 

of the bruised moon. The bicycling man

has trouble breathing in the lung-killing 

air and finally gives up,

 

abandoning his bike, crying tears

of frustration, desperation, which freeze

on his face, the skin seemingly

 

ready to shatter. He would not be

the first to go through that—skin like

a sheet of ice; just ask our ancestors

 

in the old graveyard: they, too, are frozen:

no matter who you are, cold is cold and

will slowly kill you before you know

what you’re about. 

tiffany jolowicz Monday on Michigan Island, Yesterday, the Day Before, Two Thousand Years