We Never Get Snow Down Here

I watch with the morbid curiosity
that comes with being twelve
as they carry your body out of your apartment.
The blanket is sliding off your corpse
as they struggle to get you down the stairs.
What happened to body bags?

You helped me make cupcakes once.
Cupcakes for my school bake-off sale.
Now you’re stiff and white as a ghost,
Back bruised with black and blue,
shit stains bleed through your underwear.
They left you on your side?
Just how they found you. Okay.

You drank yourself to death,
But I thought we were going to make more cupcakes.
What happened to being a good neighbor?

The air was so cold and stale.
It started snowing when they found you.
We never get snow down here.
Fitting the flakes are as cold as you.
Our first big winter in so many years.
We never get snow down here.
It came with your cancer.
You melted away with it.

Your voice had faded into a whisper
That day we talked about breakfast,
A small bite of grits and slice of bacon.

A fitting meal. A fine meal. It gave you the energy
To get up and walk as your organs shut down.
You died standing up. Trying to walk away.
Snowmen die standing up too.
We never get snow down here.
They wanted to send you home,
before the roads iced over.

You were lively and smiling,
Sitting up in bed and telling jokes.
Ahh, but the strain of getting up
For that trip to the bathroom,
The ice-cold winter of the floor hits your feet.

The ice melted into water as soon as it hit the road,
Just as the fluid filled your lungs,
Your eyes bulging out in drowning agony.

Well, of course, it melted.
What else could you expect?
We never get snow down here.
We never get snow down here.
And never, ever, do you get snow in the desert.
When you met me here, I said my winter
had been chillingly cold that year.

You couldn’t relate, because you live in the desert.
But what happened somehow, that stabbing chill
Must have followed you home against your will,
for your own desert dwelling is where you were killed.

That frozen heart, you let it in.
And it stabbed you and stabbed you.
That cold steel of the blade sliced through your lifeline.
Chillingly cold, but it never ever snows in the desert.
Just like we never get snow here.
Brutal, brutal blizzard hits one year.
Brutal for him at least,
Because we never get snow down here.
It intrigued you so, that you didn’t want to
See in the Spring what you could grow.

Springtime chased away that blizzard,
But where could it have hidden?
That blistering cold made a nest in your mind.
And you put cold metal through your head

To cut through it, to calm the falling snow.
And now as you die, you begin to realize,
Wait a minute. This can’t be real.
We never get snow down here.
We never get snow down here.
And that is why you are so blind to it all.
You’ve never seen a snowstorm, have you?
You‘ve only seen it as white specks.
You’ve never seen the patterns of each flake.

A snowflake’s pattern—
No snowflake having the same,
And yet always, they fall side by side,
Each bearing its own unique brand of tragedy.

Did you notice the snow this winter?
Ahh, but that’s right…
We never get snow down here.

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