by Mari Ness

I did not need to follow you, though
I blame her, not you, for that.
The snow, the ice, the pains
that still burn our hands
when we touch — her fault.
Not ours. Never ours, I say,
stroking your skin, before we turn
backs to each other
in this great bed.

You place ice against my neck,
hard as the knife of the robber girl.

I hear the voices of dear friends.
Travel to lands where the snow hides
in fear of the sun, where your feet
can be lost in warm water and sands
where hearts can be found
already melted.

I have hidden a sliver of her mirror of ice
in a silver box beside our bed,
hidden in thick rough quilts.
I dream of taking it into my hand,
and running its tip along your skin,
and driving it deep within your heart.
My hands will not stop burning.
And these dreams, these dreams
they push against my skin,
refusing to be shattered
as swiftly as a mirror.

Mari Ness lives in the warmer lands of Florida where snow nearly always hides. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in such places as Clarkesworld, Fantasy, Ideomancer, Daily Science Fiction, Stone Telling and the archives here at Goblin Fruit. She is also the author of the experimental novella-in-poetry, Through Immortal Shadows Singing, forthcoming very soon. Watch for more information on her blog, or follow her on Twitter.

She is currently reading the shaking leaves of the red maple tree outside her window, as it gets ready to shake off the last of its dying rust red leaves and send forth its brilliant red seeds.

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