The cold winter rain falls. I hear the trickles leaping off my roof like a liquid metronome whose precise timing is occasionally off-beat. The sound is like an ice bath to my ears. I wrap myself in my blanket and try to warm everything that is trapped underneath it. I burrow my body into the sofa and bring the cozy layer up to my nose like I am going to hibernate for the next three months. I feel her hand reach under my preheated barrier, not to steal my fire or to let the cold in but to simply be near me. I remember the hawk I saw earlier, perched in a nearby tree top. The cold winter rain falls. I hear the pattering of her heartbeat hum, the bare skin intensity dull enough to let me know that I am not alone in my moment. The sound is like a rhythmic warmth that simmers my insides, like fresh grits bubbling on a dated flat stovetop. I wrap myself around her noise and let it pull me deep inside her. I burrow my soul into her soul and play it on repeat because I want to hear the life she contains. I remember the hawk I saw earlier, perched alone in a treetop, braving the elements I willing dodge and avoid. The cold winter rain falls. I hear the whispering breaths she takes as she drifts further and further away from me. The energy I absorb as she sleeps on my chest, she is my blanket and I am her magnet. I forget about time and space. I do not forget about the face I currently stare at, her eyes shut away from the lifeless world of the now. I wrap myself in her scent. Her hair grazes my cheekbone. Her open hand lays on my beating heart as to say, "we will be okay after all." I burrow my nose into the nest that surrounds me and decide to let go with her by slowly drifting away. I try to find her in a dream. I remember the hawk I saw earlier, perched in a dying treetop, patiently looking and waiting for his moment to take flight. The cold winter rain falls. I hear the echo the house makes as the North wind beats against its weathered shield. The frigid chill outside battles the insulated warm inside. She wiggles her toes and brushes them against my legs. One of her toenails is longer than the other and I feel like it cut me, but I ignore the bleed because I am already cut by her body and her ways and her glances and her mannerisms, and no matter what I do, I will remember the first time she looked at me when she knew she loved me more than anything. I look out my window and I see that winter hawk perched on his lookout, still hunting, prowling, searching for his next meal, unaware that my world constantly changes as his remains the same. The winter hawk on a cold frost morn, that haggardly graceful bird looking for something to snag in its sharp talons only to fly away with it and cheat me out of watching it feed, me doing the same to it by colliding with her in the confines of my four walls. The winter soul in a warm bed along with another hot body, hoping to exchange dual heats and turn a cold room into a raging furnace, both desiring to feel real and remain real among the fakeness, waiting for that day when the outside temperature is again, for one, too cold to bear, and, for another, warm enough for a slow dance outside underneath a star filled sky. The winter hawk - brave the elements, poor, lost soul, only swooping down when it's time to feed on another's everlasting flame, an eternal flicker that is inside all of us. The winter soul - stay wrapped in your blanket and only let her in when she reaches for you because, she, too, is searching for the same welcomed warmth that you so desire and may have already found. Both wanting to stay warm while also enjoying the frigid cold that envelopes us in that brisk, naked season so named. Both wanting to stay cold and slowly melt like a forgotten ice cube that was willingly dropped and left on a dirty kitchen floor. I am the winter hawk.
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