Frankie McGee, "Mid-Morning Steam, Rising"

the sun is a wash over your still face
it’s so visceral I can almost feel it in my skin
but our bodies are prairies apart
endless sky and railroad ties pacing distance apart
my body is a fence post
sticking out of Manitoba snow
and yours
is something different.
I can’t describe it because I am not in it
your embodiment feels faraway-foreign to me
but then, so does mine, most days.
the grass is muddy-wet with spring melt
and I am mid-morning steam, rising
I am nothing sturdy
and aching to hold joy in the soles of my hands
aching to bleed with warmth of affection
like a boot print in a thin covering of snow
enough heat to melt this moment
I am a mess of a cradle for this body
all tender no callous
skin waiting for warmth like sun.
there is nothing simple about being in a body
nothing truly romantic about longing
or the slow, heavy heave of waiting
for the weighted pause of skin against another’s skin
yet I write beauty into loneliness
like it will ease the ache
I speak beauty into longing
as if voicing it will soothe this body
and when the poem is over
I am left with the same ache
I am left both severed from and bound to this body
as I was when it began
I am left
forever rediscovering
that my words are no substitute for affection
no soothing balm
no breathing body
to hold onto.