Under lights strung taut across unthawed lots,
we brought our tragedies, ribboned in red.
It’s the happiest season, they said.
So we flooded the lines among aisles of pine.
But as funds dried up, we paid with our quilts.
Then lowering heads down fog-full streets,
we dragged home firs, trailing boughs at our feet.
Seeking heat we cooked trunks in barrels of rust
which turned ruby the throats of the lonely among us,
cheeks bursting blood in a fiery flush.
If our flesh were scalded raw,
if blood dripped thin along our fists,
who would ash our decay once our souls flew away?