Frigid

 

A house built with ice

Sits frozen on what could be

A familial street

Those that reside inside

Wish for warmth

But instead given

Cold glances and are

Forced to look past the

Barbed wire that

Entangles the front porch and

Stretches before the doorway

Where a house mat tries to

Welcome in guests that are

Never allowed past the corridor

Careful breaths are taken and

Held in, only to be released

Seeing each molecule of

Gas float and disappear in an instant

It takes so long to breathe but

Seconds to remind us that we walk a

Thin cable between living

And just making it by

But sometimes breathing inside of

This wasteland of

Tundra bricks and mortar

Is the only thing that stops the patients from

Losing what is left of their minds

Still, they forget they have

Slippery tongues and they

Accidentally allow

Ungrateful words, regrettably exchanged

Icicles that hang

Shatter like the

Broken bits of inhabitants,

Those that sit and wait

Wondering what will set off a

Fire that aims to burn down

The ice-house

 

Burning, it melts

Goodhearted laughs

Board games and clean dishes

No matter—it can be put out

With a headshake and

A whisper,

“What’s the point of going on”

Bile rises in two or maybe three throats

But no one can release the tension

They hold inside every half-hour

The ice always returns

Unbreakable and surviving

With elements of

Pretend prayers and frozen water and

Flames that can be put out by

Tears of twelve-year-olds and

Closed doors that no key can open

The prisoners shiver silently

And hope that one day they

Can destroy the ice that

Has been attempting to hold

Everyone together

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