Cardinal

First published in Minnow Literary Magazine, 2020

A verdant cloud has collapsed;

its opaque fog hovers

over molted leaves.

 

I am a cardinal in the snow:

a pile of color, bones shambled together.

I have been gathered in this tundra

and built up into a small desperate

pyramid—a bid for warmth.

 

Inside the frozen valley

I burn down to the marrow.

Red from your violence,

red from your heat.