the cold that bites

the cold that bites at my throat as we walk
alongside the campus masses
and i swallow it

she could be anywhere here/is everywhere

racism is like water – we’re all in it juniper says
to peter’s students
circled around the room

it mostly seemed to show up
in tío juan’s little bottle of tobasco
i write
while the rest of the class also writes
about race

how the sun seems to hit the seagulls from underneath
illuminating their bellies and wings whitebright
as they flyswim across the bluebright lake of sky
as seen through the windows of milwaukee’s intermodal station
and despite the brightness of the sun
it’s a 5 degree fahrenheit kind of day

descending the escalator
as the train pulls in to our right below us
two forms of motion
converging on the platform
the pinkorange ball of setting sun
as seen through train window reflections
drenching snow and tree limbs
in ki’s valentine light