The Thing No Longer Howls

In the winter
we eat sharp white cheddar
and drink the sweet cream sherry
we bought at a rural supermarket
in Oklahoma on a roadtrip.
It’s what we do to get us through
the spurning of the sun.
The thing no longer howls as close
to us out in space.
We sit by white walls
and fireplace fires,
old books
and feel the fibers of sweaters
against our swollen skin.
It’s what we do to forget lovers
who spurned us
and learn to know each other,
learn to grow old,
to somehow have courage as
we become cowards.
The memories of autumn,
the smell of fallen leaves,
the emptying of the streets,
these things seem sweet to us
now.

For
the thing no longer howls as close
to us out in space.