If gravel stirs and birds cry
perched on reeds like pikes in heads
then I, too, move in the world
and I, too, shrink from strangers.
It’s not that I don’t love you.
It’s just –
it’s just that ice is never safe
my hands clam up, anyways –
we once formed a colony
we’d put our hands together
taking everything, winning nothing
still we held and clung to tight
heart-shaped pillows stuck in claw machines.
“The heart swindles,” they always said
that love is real but best unsaid