It Is Cold and I Want to Be Where You Are

It Is Cold and I Want to Be Where You Are
By Beth Cortez-Neavel
Hiss Hiss. I breathe in Slow and Long and
deepest ice breath catches
Fills and Empties
from my mouth: a stain of fluid white in so stagnant cold
and the outside winter steam gets harsher
while I pass through sewers’ rising stench and
at night I cannot see
the stars under clouds overcast
with snow sodden, looming
over buildings that root like trees from concrete-strong basements,
hidden underneath.
It is snowing in Boston
and outside you are sawing down cedar,
just you and trees in the Texas hills
so strong in your chainsaw chaps
(Kevlar in the inner pad: two layers woven
and two needle-punched –
but I do not really know what that means
because you told me through a fading
connection – but I know, at the least, that they will stop the blade)
strapped on to your thrift-store jeans
that you bought after I bought scarves for two-ninety-nine.
A chainsaw. I do not know how it works
nor remember how one Sounds
like I sometimes forget the love in your voice
over one thousand, nine-hundred and fifty-four miles.
It is not Hiss Hiss,
I know that much from life and wilderness
though you have more to teach me
from your So different gypsy childhood
in a mis-matched,
and white-washed house;
as I read books about dragons, sitting
curled up on the forest-green arm-chair
in the darkest corner of my parent’s house
(that had a tower like a real castle),
while you sat in your bamboo forest
smoking pot on the plastic seat
hiding from your father in the mossy oak
that you taught me to trust and to climb when
I was last at home,
with you.
But, it
it is Sunny and sixty in Austin
and I am not breathing Slow and Long
nose buried deep, deep in your chest where I like to
to inhale whatever cologne you stole from the CVS mixed with
your American Spirits and sweat sultry from our sex so not long before:
with your Mouth my Hands and
Love exalted from Me You Over Under Undressed
head Pushed against thin wall Thinner Covers you moan quiet above me
between my thighs Smooth Soft you say and oh.
a memory such should be repeated,
and yes.
Yes. I want the strong roots of your Live Oak,
the so big and bright of the Texas twinkle stars
and the air bright blue and Alive.

0 thoughts on “It Is Cold and I Want to Be Where You Are

  1. Funny how longing to be with someone brings out our true and powerful feelings…our love, our holistic life philosophies assembled peacefully yet painfully like a live jigsaw puzzle.
    I love how the poem started out painting such imagery and strong emotional symbolism. At first i thought the ‘hiss hiss’ was representing a snake as if the writer were comparing herself to a cold-blooded creature that needed to be human again, to be warm again and not just physically, but soulfully. That was much of the first impression that i held tentatively going into the rest of the poem–turns out the ‘hiss hiss’ was from a dragon, but it’s snake-like. Not too far off.
    I think ‘contrast’ between the two locales of the lovers–Boston and Austin, and between houses and settings in general, was done remarkably in the poem and is its centerpiece or guiding craft. So the point is this: It is cold for poet in Boston not just because it’s snowing but because she is seperated from the one she loves and longs to be with him. Our hearts glow when we are with our lovers.
    At some points while reading this, i had an impending doom that the guy in Austin was gonna say something or do something stupid to fuck everything up and this was gonna turn into a ‘break-up’ ‘our love is lost’ poem. This wasn’t due to anything the author said in the poem it’s just because i’ve read so many like that–that fatal agony of ‘not meant to be’ is put on display all too much. But i kept going back to title: “It Is Cold and I Want to Be Where You Are” and telling myself ‘oh yeah–straightforward’.
    And of course the trademark sex-speak in so many Elizabeth Neavel poems–loved it. Sex is the culmination of love, it is the refuge, the vacuum, the bubble, the all-or-nothing. To write a poem and not mention sex is such a travesty–nice to find someone who feels the same. lol. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply