He arrives on my front step
with a grin and bottle of melted snow he pops like champagne
as we toast to another year around the sun
drinking until we’re delirious.
Some years he’s early, teasing me about my oversized sweater.
Other years I pace the chilled entryway tile
waiting to see if he remembers my address.
And when he’s here, I want to believe his warm breath
whispers that he’s not going anywhere —
olive eyes inviting me to expose arms, legs, midriff
leave the window open while I sleep.
I’m just not sure I’m ready
for flushed cheeks and sun-soaked kisses today
when I’ll be bitten by frost tomorrow.
Because when I say spring is my favorite season
I mean his public persona —
not his habit of fleeing overnight, leaving me to sweep
half-frozen tulip petals and cracked eggshells under the rug
not his mint-chilled hisses through my open window
that startle me awake, grasping the dark for another quilt
not his heavy flakes beating glass and gripping green blades
until they’re buried alive again.
But he keeps me guessing, holding out hope
that one day he’ll soften with the ice on the lake
dissolving into itself
until there’s nothing left.
Emily Heck has a BA in English Literature and Writing from the University of Northwestern — St. Paul. She works as a copywriter and lives with her husband just outside of the Twin Cities. Recently, her work has also appeared in samfiftyfour.