frost flower

by Nanette Rayman Rivera

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I notice it everywhere now.
Just yesterday, xylem sap in the leaves        
more dovegray than pigeon,
drawn through cracks, freezing    
through the pores
of yellow ironweed.

Outside a homeless shelter for couples,
winding like hair
through the ticking mouth of the food line—
princesses: white from the blue-hearted plums
of their breasts
string along the frozen ones.

My husband fingers ice petals
as if they were lacy bras
discarded from the body he loves;
but can’t take them home.

After streetlife, burgeons
of ice blossoms on an apartment’s fence,
more this February
than Florida’s seen in years.
At first we try to uncarve them
until, resigned, we face them,
our roots saturated in water.

Ribbons of them,
delicately bowed and happy,
the frozen and the breathing as one:
the breathing
wishing on the beauty of the frozen.

Nanette Rayman Rivera, two-time Pushcart nominee is the author of the new poetry collection, shana linda ~ pretty pretty, published by Scattered Light Publications and available at . She is the first winner of the Glass Woman Prize for memoir Her first poetry collection,  Project:Butterflies is available from Foothills Publishing

Issue 12 contents