to all the men I've loved before (or, for Shervin, who never let me quit) ///

Moszkowski moves from the record player across the floorboards. We sigh in almost perfect unison. Outside, snow and gathering snow. You refuse to speak to me when I refuse to write. A lost voice and no lozenges. A severed tongue like red wool socks peeking out of boots. I take the shovel from the hall closet and head out into the yard to dig a hole in the frozen earth. It is impossible work. The shovel finds only stones, permafrost, more stones. Years ago flighty birds left feathers to signal where I should migrate next. Now there are none. I fall to my knees and am sick, burying it in the hole. Looking up, I see you standing in the open doorframe, backlit by bully fluorescent lighting. I plead for you to open the piano, play me a yellow bird who builds himself a window. You turn back inside, and do.