The winter you told me you could find me by my tire treads in the slush and I thought of deer and rifles. The winter of ice glittering like stars in my hair and your mouth, a meteor shower, brushing over my scalp. I want to talk about the movies we watched and the driveway you shovelled, not the popcorn we burned and the blacked-out windows behind your bed. So you don’t talk to me unless it’s snowing. So you don’t ask to see me until I hear the ice crack under my car. The Ford Escape makes a noise like a slaughtered pig when you reverse out of the driveway in the morning but what does it matter as long as you leave? As long as you get where you need to go without crashing? I am careening down the black-ice black-top and every time I kiss the snowbanks I see blood but hey, glad you could make it. Wouldn’t be the same without you.
I used to look for you on snow days but now I just stay in bed. I make constellations out of popcorn ceilings and think of popcorn caves. Have you ever thought about how the sound of popcorn in your mouth and ice under your car is the same? The crunch like a breaking skull. The fragility and terror of it. My French teacher told me once that he used to hide watermelons in the snow. That when the snowplow came the watermelons cracked open like a gift. That it all bloomed red and the driver cried and cried and cried. I am thinking now about the blood of kissed snowbanks; how it tastes like sugar and iron; how it waits under the plastic Christmas tree for someone to find it and sits, unwanted, for weeks.
With you it is always snow, always winter. People say your name and all I can conjure are shared mittens and badly wrapped boxes, poor tricks for an audience hungry for tragedy. I am running out of magic and our watchers are getting bored. Not everything ends in watermelon juice and snow. Sometimes it’s just grey slush and stubborn snowbanks in the sun, furiously refusing to melt.
Joyce Liu is a teenage poet from Ottawa, Canada. When she's not writing she can be found taking long walks in the woods and watching Formula 1 races. More of her work can be found in released and upcoming issues of The Hearth, The Augment Review, and Poetically, as well as at colourofinfinity.tumblr.com.