The Ice Melting on the Hood

There are things to cling to, like the clean pebbles in the pockets of
my jackets. I have too many jackets. In the last two years, I've only
worn one of them, on less than a dozen days altogether. It makes more
sense to wear sleeves long or carry a sweater. Also, most days there
are only a few minutes in the naked outside for which a jacket might
be preferred, and those minutes are only slightly more terrible
without one. So the closet stays closed, and the jackets and the
pebbles are forgotten, dumbly clinged to with hands that aren't mine.

It occurs to me that the path to work has become wild with thorns and
tough little vines, pleading calls from birds in unseen shadows.
Sometimes the scabs and pale scars on my sun-darkened arms startle me.
I'm not getting used to them and the people I know ask if I've tried
this lotion or that salve. I don't prefer to do that, though. The same
as how I squeeze my head in red hands rather than swallow something
benign from a plastic bottle. The only things I actually treasure are
irrationalities, anyway. The way spitting makes me feel in control,
the way spitting fingernail splinters makes me feel like some kind of
victor, the way a terrible mug of coffee validates this whole