Jack Frost

i.

Jack Frost is moving west soon. He will fight it to the last, holding fast to the left hand of a snow-boned girl; the hum of blue under her fingernails is his reassurance, his invitation. He has known her since she was a wee one with frozen toes and a runny nose – when people grow, they employ sophisticated methods such as Starbucks and salt to repel him, but she will never fully abandon the cold. It blooms full beneath her skin in June, and he finds her goose bumps beautiful.

ii.

She has always been at odds with her anatomy; though she has never doubted the magic of snowfall, she must face it with a frame like a house falling down. When Jack Frost sees her shivering he rusches her arms, trying to flush the slush out of her system, but he can only make her colder.  It is confusing, how he wants her to freeze, but he needs her to nest birds in her hair, to activate her melanin, to make him let go. From pasty to pastry, golden brown. Unattractive. Necessary. He knows that Newton will blow the storm front back to her one day, and hey, the kids are all saying about this global warming thing, so perhaps he has a battle to fight elsewhere. For now, he lays his head on her chest and melts into her pulse as they exchange temperature. She will endure subzero for him.

iii.

The city gets unfriendlier by the year, but she will be Jack Frost’s cradle as long as he asks it of her. He shows his gratitude as (and when) he can:  he has carried her through blizzards, limbs like a bundle of fragile twigs collected in his strong, white arms. He has littered her face with kisses like beestings. He has sent his magic creeping over her windows in feathery fleur-de-lis and he has thrown a veil over late grey afternoon because he knows she’s in love with streetlamp halos.  She pulls back her faux fur hood, snow on her eyebrows, and exhales precious, coveted warmth. Je suis en le coeur d’hiver. I am in the heart of winter. She will always be the one he loves too much to bury.