Air surrounding me leeches away the words
that should be whispered close on winter
nights such as these –
is it ever as difficult as it seems?
That these fluttering mouthbites will never
make it to the shells that they were meant for
but instead shall scoot around in houses too small

The surface of the bubble is sometimes too thick
to push through; all the puncturepuncturepuncture
of days past close over and channels disappear,
their blankets pulled over their heads to keep warm
and shut the light from coming
Only faint and dainty
of smoke give tell to the smoldering ember
that sits enshrined in a glass case/stone basement,
held back by knots in the soft tunnel,
bundled behind the memory of too many “naughts”
and not enough patience – and only pale imitations