by Alan King

Night comes fierce and icy,
like the woman rolling her eyes
and snapping her head away
after catching your gaze. Even

a cashier dodged your best attempts
at getting a smile. The chill tears through
your bones, like termites through wood.

But how does a man keep
from freezing when his coat
and thermals betray him?

Weatherman’s calling it the coldest
ever. And how does a man prepare
for such a frigid forecast when Winter’s
the most fickle of her siblings?

Alan King‘s fiction and poems have appeared in the Arabesques Review, Warpland, The Amistad, and Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS, among others. A Cave Canem fellow and Vona Alum, his work was also part of Anacostia Exposed, a collaborative exhibit with Irish photographer Mervyn Smyth that showcases the life and energy of Anacostia.

Back to Issue Two: Winter 2009