His flicker of words lodge a splinter
into silence. She looks up, tries
to draw it out, knitting needles smacking
against each other like marbles.
He’s an iceberg, etched
roughness, content with being
alone in the sea, revealing only a fraction
of who he is.
She once brushed
her sweater sleeve across a flame.
It danced to her shoulder and crackled
a warning before dying
near her ear.
During bitter cold
nights, when wind hisses outside
the window, she asks
him to sit near fire.
Wood snaps, throwing sparks
out of crooked
flames. The half finished
scarf in her lap can
muffle words from across the room.
She wants him
to wrap her in noise
that flows fast as water
set free from ice.
She leans forward. Wouldn’t notice
if her silver hair singed.
Words itch like wool.
He won’t let them unravel.
Dawn Schout is compiling her first poetry book about unrequited love. She won first place in the Lucidity Poetry Journal Contest, and her poetry has appeared in print and online journals, including Lucidity Poetry Journal and Glass: A Journal of Poetry. She also had a short story published in Evangel.