Baby It’s Cold Outside

Late November, and
the snow races across the hills,
creating a wall of white ice.

They cuddled on the sofa
Submerged in a luxurious bath of blankets,
faces illuminated by images on TV
that they didn’t see.

The radio announces interstate closing
but she only needs to make it a little further
to beat the storm, and she refuses
to be stuck sleeping on a crowded gym floor.

They shared mint kisses
and sparkling grape juice
and talked about life, love,
God, the time that he shot out
a store window from the roof
of his house at age 7,
and their future, together.

She squints, leans forward, slows down.
The wipers race a mile a minute,
but it is still so hard to see.

He leaned in and
she met him halfway.
“I can feel your heart beat, fast.”
Nose to nose, she smiled and nodded.

Suddenly the tires slide.
The wheel is rendered ineffective.
Her mind blank, disbelief.

He thought to himself about
how perfect she was, for him,
in every way his complement
“I love you more than yesterday.”

Flashing lights,
a snowflake of twisted metal,
a white sheet,
and an emptiness, full
of grief and broken dreams.