Sofiya Ivanova

The walls are collapsing, coming down on me like a paper 

house folding in on itself, 



in flecks of white; 

roof caving in in showers of pencil shavings,

hung up pictures thawing,

metal door knobs melting like wax,

ashes floating down and settling themselves into my hair;


i am ancient now, whisps seasoned with salt and pepper, skin wrinkled like crumpled up paper leaflets

lying on the sidewalk and in my backyard, crunching below booted feet, breaking ice and cracking spines and crackling fires.


every version of me lies, mummified, inside these snowbanks,

which the sunset painted a rich indigo;

mailboxes and stop signs and picket fences and bare-bone trees— all monochrome, dyed with the hue of the stinging cold,


lulling me to sleep and my body aches for your arms to fall back into, 

to make snow angels on the inside of your chest,

leave my footprints like animal tracks amongst the silent woods. 


(i dream of you and the back of your head—

hiding my face in the sea of raw sienna.)


i see distant lights flicker amongst the ocean of cobalt, illuminated windows that draw me in like a moth,


carbon dioxide has me in a headlock and i can taste the smoke and feel the temperature’s teeth sinking into my rough leather cheeks.


if there is a hell, it’s the domain of the northern wind;


i knock on strangers’ doors and beg them to let me in.  

warn them of the soot escaping their chimneys like a snake skidding across the pitch black sky.


exposed skin against rubber, 

dead girl walking barefoot in the snow.


and i have lived through this time and time again, the defiant click-click-click of spinning the hands on the clock backwards, stuck in a loop like a broken CD player.



i will wake up to the sunlight seeping through every crack, the world outside— bursting with brilliance,

living room drenched in honey


i will wake up.