Below Freezing

Below Freezing

By Celeste Hackenberg

Never grew
cold enough to miss you

without winter.
Just a little wind in Sacramento

every year. Our
lives were heavy then,

a quilt
I couldn’t lift. 

 When I left, you
rented a cabin at Lake Tahoe. We

wore rain boots
in the snow until our feet turned black,

smoked cigars
to celebrate having lungs.
                    
The temperature
dropped, but couldn’t shake

us awake.
It was so late by the time

the seasons changed.
I ought to have loved you then

wooled warm
under the blanket, so

alive just the way
I would have wanted.

 

Celeste Hackenberg earned her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College in December 2016. As a graduate student, she worked on the SLC Poetry Festival and co-created an annual Alumni Festival to showcase the talent of previous students. She also served as Art Director and submissions reader for LUMINA, Sarah Lawrence’s student-run literary magazine, for two years. Currently, she is living in Westchester county with her three cats and one person. She works in Harlem as an academic advisor at CUNY Start and writes mostly prose poems and haikus about eggs.

Featured image courtesy Barrie Family / CC