Exception to Snow

Steven Chung

The winter I discovered myself
in a boy’s arms, I also found
my other missing parts in an elevator.
All that closed space makes
a person a master of geometry,
and I entered a shapeless silence
in my head. I remembered the stuff
I thought I had buried in the snow,
how he said the white flakes
on our skin were failed cremations.
Not of us, but of the evergreen forests,
because the Southern Hemisphere
was burning. Half of the world is always on fire
but we wanted to be the exception
to prove our existence, like how an elevator
calls no attention unless it is broken.
Atop the terrace of the building,
I couldn’t decide whether to let the blizzard
cover me in all its vague histories
or to cover the white mass with my arms
and pretend that in my blindness
I saw the shape of a head across from mine,
that in the thick of the white, I could see
all that had been erased.