Solstice As Demon Lover

You disappear again, December sun
turns light to ice, fracture
of frozen stars responsible for months
of snow. Now that you're gone it's winter:
I can sleep, but don't. Cold bright

guided me to you: save me
some fragment of its linger. Poured
over glacier meal's cracked
maps, I stumbled through mist's
occlusions: now recognize

the face never turned to me, myriad myths
of you. Of course there was a portal
you led through, underworld of
wind-twisted trees. The preoccupation
with endings breaks open, two equal

-ly irregular shreds of cloud: white sky falls
from the rent defining them. Who turns
in this version, fixes me to either side
of mourning? Your heliotrope gaze
turns and I am caught adjusting my sorrow,

among spilled waves and crashing
particles, breaking open the day
to see what it contains. (Look at me
now I'm losing you.) Light-footed
gods traverse the light between the living

and the too-loved dead like echoes
or reflections: the body breaks in two
but walks away. (I pissed my name,
Orpheus, with doubtful penmanship
into the white. I had to

scar it somehow, undo its clean efficiency.
The frost will fecundate another crop
of ghosts.) Cold bells
of breath second the snow, the winter
you became. (Wind again: there is

no sound. You must have a
winter's mind.) I walked out
of cold hell, mourned well
when you disappeared from view:
same voice, no face, rubbed clean

by renown. I need some music now.

by Reginald Shepherd

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