My heart is empty,
A withered flower bud, its once-supple head slumped over,
Frozen still, coated in a fine dusting of snow.
My lips are cracked, dry, the opposite of luscious.
I’m thirsty, I’m so thirsty and tired—
Wandering the days with tears in my eyes,
And so are you.
We are both down for the count,
Lost a little, searching a lot.
Our bones ache, devoid of fleshy strength,
Eyelids barely able to be propped open.
We have nothing to give each other
Except a hollow smile, a hug here and there,
And a few stray kisses.
We have nothing to give,
We can’t offer support.
Or ground each other.
Or fix one another.
Maybe that’s okay—
Maybe it’s deliciously beautiful.
Maybe the only way to support each other is
To work on ourselves.
Face our fears, head-on.
Confront our snarling snake demons
And rise from the paper ashes of all this looming uncertainty.
Right now, our love is not blooming or vivacious—
It is not plump, honey-filled or succulent.
It’s withered and lonely.
But why do we expect love to be in full bloom all the time?
Maybe love is like nature,
Constantly cycling through seasons,
With a fresh bounty of secret beauty to offer year-round.
It’s easy to be happy in love’s lush Spring,
Our kisses burn hot like fireworks
Parted lips swoon from the subtle scent of dripping lilacs,
Our hearts addicted to the breathless blooming.
Buds explode with reckless abandon—
And from this—only from this—
Can new growth emerge.
How can we honor this sacred cycle?
Right now, our love is winter—
It’s dark, it’s cold, a little icy.
It doesn’t look so pretty.
It doesn’t feel so cozy.
We don’t need a constant Spring.
Let’s seek beauty in this empty Winter.
Let’s climb the snowy ropes of our vivid dreams
Fill up our own hearts,
Lap up sweet gasoline to set our souls aflame—
And make a new Spring,
With fleshy buds, full-bellied hearts, and hope.
New seeds to plant
Fresh ruby lips to kiss
Just-plucked wildflowers in our hands.
As two wholes,
Not two empty-shelled halves.
But first—yes, first—
Let’s look outside our musty windowsills
The quiet, frozen beauty
Of the softly falling snow.
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editor: Sarah Kolkka