n a n c y    s t o h l m a n

Winter Below the Equator


At least the winter warns you. The sun stays away more each day, the way I have, the autumn gives a final farewell in colors left on the ground like confetti after a wedding. But the death of love happens slowly, until you are sitting outside on a gray January day, smoking a forbidden cigarette, wondering if there had been signs.

You were born in mid-July, a summer baby, but you were born below the equator, where summer is really winter, and on a cold July day you came into the world wearing a coat. Perhaps thatís why youíve never been satisfied with anything, our love, your life. The stars call you a Cancer but you carry the ice in your bones, a strange reversal that has left you hard-wired to be disappointed.

I no longer believe the promises of spring, the flatteries of summer, the drama of autumn. Our love has always lived in the winter, in the death, where everything worth making promises about has gone dormant. This endless winter that was supposed to be a summer.



NANCY STOHLMANís work has appeared in Trickhouse, Fast Forward, Resist, The Bathroom, Zero Ducats, Monkey Puzzle, Snowline Poetry Journal, FM Magazine, Counterpunch, CommonDreams, and in the journal Anything, Anymore, Anytime in Scotland. She is completing an MFA at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and her novel, Searching for Suzi, is forthcoming in 2009 from Monkey Puzzle Press. She lives in Denver.

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