I forget sometimes how cold it is here. I enjoy the winter, how towards austerity the earth leans. Out my bathroom window, unbroken fields of snow and the long stark exclamations of charcoal-black trees.
I forget sometimes how cold it is here. I am reminded when the windows frost in the morning. When my car won't start without an argument. When I snowshovel myself out to check the mail.
It's not the cold I mind, I mind the quiet. In the summer, everyone's windows thrown open and our wayward voices, singing unself-consciously to the radio, the bits of telephone talk, the television's dramas -- they mingle somewhere by the street and drift towards each other.
Now the voice has shut down. I exist in a silence that feels disquieting to my bones. I am afraid that it will last forever, this kind of beauty.