To shrink the yard to a kind of room,
the town to a draft in a hall,
there’s snow, lots of it. To figure myself
a shade, I flush behind a cigarette
and send my double-breath from the stoop
to the smokestack. Bricks cascade
a crisp curtain for the eye
but then their gingham pleats just stutter
down to factory doors.
Winter is a well-dressed opium girl
the high clouds shrug about.
Over the shed spread of whiteness—
ancestral dander, the dusted homes
left untaken. And when the smoke,
just like them, leaves, I remain
to see fashionistas in the trees, an orange
tom increasing himself near juniper.
From behind, I can’t say
whether he does or does not carry
a blue mouth full of rabbit
or what clean notions of distance
a winter-cat must have.