November requires a degree of cold

The pavement is cold today.
The wind is mean-spirited.
The buildings are standoffish.

The sky is like bad clam chowder.
One might dip one’s hand in
and find icicles or snowballs
or muddy street slush.

I hate the cold, or rather,
I hate this particular cold –
The kind that pushes one into
doorways and deeper into oneself.

It’s an avoiding-eyes kind of cold.
It’s not a cold you share
in coffee shops or convenience stores.
Stay at home cold.

I fear the cold has already gotten
inside me, infected me.
I’ll never warm up.
Even my hugs will be cold.

Cold hugs never reach your heart.
Arms go around your body but
there is no heat, no love, no touch.
A cold hug is an abomination, a curse.

November requires a degree of cold,
but it has been too cold
for too long for me.
I want hot cups of cocoa
and sweaty fireplaces.

I want warm hugs that reach
my toes. And never end.

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