into the wood-heated warmth

in the dream
the fancy monogram-style cursive letter S imprint
left by the bullet
(which entered my chest through ribcage
and didn’t exit)
and how i held my palm
tight against the wound
and slumped against a wall to hold me up
to stop the blood
when i thought i was dying
but turns out
that when all the blood didn’t leave me
i was actually still
but alive
the melted ice water
gathered on the lid
to a 55 gallon drum
that gibbous the orangey cat
laps away at
black sharpie ink
on the thin skinned (and sometimes wrinkly
which is a sign of dehydration
which should be avoided)
dahlia tubers
before tucking them in layers of sawdust and newspaper
for the winter
(the variety names include:
awe shucks
zakary robert
blackberry ice
lights out
emory’s bright bright red cheeks
(from running around on a 20 degree day outside
with his pal zane)
as we gather around dinner

a group of 12 mennonites packed up against the snack table
and spice shelf of our kitchen
cracking open their caroling books
just after luray says
we’d like to sing you some songs
about jesus
and there are many things i marvel at
but one is how we never really get to
get this close to each other
in a cozy social-ish setting,
the other is a sortof elephant-in-the-room
around the proselytizing
(like, i’m going to pretend you didn’t just say
those songs are about jesus
because when you do
it all of a sudden becomes that kind of weird comparable to
interacting with a vendor
who wants to tell you all about their wares
and you just want to look at them but have no interest in buying)
hope nothing explodes i say
as ty and i find ourselves
in another edition of rookiez
where this time around
because the big furnace fire is going,
somehow that means the water tank
(that i’ve never noticed before)
is gurgling and its pipes are warm
to the touch

mama cat
gibbous and ashby
all gathered outside of karma
in their respective perches
(mama cat on a tree stump
ashby on the bench and gibbous
sitting in the pathway)
as we head into the inky colors
of another frosty night
and they all watch me walk into the wood-heated warmth
in a way that seems to say
don’t i get to come in too?