Poem: Keeping Warm
By: Emily Strauss
woolen wraps, down quilts
piles of dry leaves
a tent tethered in a desert wash
bowed against a lashing storm
a sail tearing from a small mast.
a lone figure inside, fighting to breathe
against the wind ripping the voice
from his mouth at each gust, eyes shut
against the sand that finds every gap,
a person balled into all the clothes he owns.
Losing count of the hours
warmth a distant memory
the sun gone forever
the wind cancels all other sound—
the wind is the only sound left,
night a merciless absence, even his cries
stripped away in the beautiful terror.
He barely breathes. The cold penetrates
slips like water into his pores,
his feet now senseless
grains of ice rime the canyon boulders
every creature burrowed against the gale.