Poem 20141208

the police set up barricades
that didn’t stem the endless tide of cars
in and out of the neighborhood
just slowed them down
and we had to park pretty far away
since you wanted to get out and walk
which was the better way
to see the christmas lights

it was cold for a southern california december night
and talking with you
i watched my breath form vapor clouds
your breath came out like steam too
and our breath mingled
a miniature weather system
between us

i gave you my jacket
the long green overcoat
i had bought secondhand
and we walked close
like we shared ribs and organs and bloodflow
and we barely noticed the grinch and snoopy
the parade of lit-up wisemen
a hundred santas that burned
as bright as the afterimage of fireworks

when i slipped my hand into the false pocket
and found your skin
warm inside in spite of the cold
we had to hurry back to the car