FROST-BITE by Erin McIntosh


by Erin McIntosh

mother i have strayed here too
long. a winter mist rising at five
o’clock and outside’s dim. outside’s
lust. ………(Mother I wish to tell you
I love a girl and I love her naked)
in ten years’ time or twenty
snow will fall from the sky and
i will find within me strength to stay
the night.………(Oh, if you could
See her shoulder blades, the curve
Of her neck when she leans in to
Kiss me) i will do this
with a single palm only, held up
to block out the light, and it will
be like child’s play, like magic
spells learned from that dusty book
my grandmother left behind
between leaflets of puritan
prayers.………(When my mouth is
On her body I feel nothing but
Strength) we too were here,
the book says. we too wept.

i dream sometimes mother of
a canadian farmhouse, and inside
a girl, who became a woman, who
also wept.……… (Mother I trust
Her heart the way I trust my own
Body, these blind-fingertipped
days) logs burn and days
disappear and in the evenings
a child wraps tiny fists around
her nipple, biting.………(I cannot
Remember what it is to feel anything
Other than this tree-felling love,
The act of my own heart’s beating,
Inexplicable to me as God.) ………in
nine years’ time the kittens will all
be mothers of their own, feeding
and no longer fed, and you and i
will know each other’s faith once
more.………(Mother I love without
Understanding, without proof and
In the face of doubt) ………if i could,
i would kiss this girl’s neck
so soft, tongued yet toothless, unless
she spoke, wanting to feel the bite
of a winter not meant to last, frost
unfriendly toward any wishing
for survival.………(I stay still
In my love, and the hummingbird
Hum of my heartbeat at long last
Is steady)

erin-mcintoshErin McIntosh is a writer and actress currently living in Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared and is forthcoming in various journals including Two Serious Ladies, Noble / Gas Qtrly, Hobart, Bone Bouquet, Lavender ReviewVagabond City Lit and Vending Machine Press. Visit her at

Image credit: Oliver Wendel on Unsplash


Comments are closed.