|The Names of Snow
The year she was 33 she thought she was 34,
so she has to live that year again,
bored as a wolf at the zoo.
She reads at night, wakes when the neighbors
pitch themselves into the apartment pool,
thin dolls in tiny suits.
From her balcony she sees the tops of cars fade
and peel and wishes a scarf of rain
would drop through the roaring light.
Brandishing scissors, snapping their blades,
she's proved there is no God,
every newspaper vivid with evidence.
Clocks whir in their tiny voices.
Heat burns the grass to nothing.
She rubs a square of silk across her lips.
In the north, snouts of glaciers burst
with dirty water. Tongues of ice
survive the summer's melting.
Once from a parked car she watched
the building night man dance with a woman
in an empty storage room. Arcing their bodies,
one led, then the other, both of them awkward,
unbeautiful. Fine snow, powder, fell
through a yellow net cast by lit windows.
In the hottest hours she repeats the names
of snow: firn, corn snow, graupel, sastruga.
Struga, a chasm anyone could fall down into.