I can imagine walking with you
through a snowdrifted city, warming you
as you huddle into me, as hands surrounding
a fire's glow, and the fire reaching out in wonder
overeager with flame to touch and lick the fingers,
saying, 'I won't burn you - not if you
pass them through me quickly.' But I would not burn
you, or make you callused, and callous - indifferent
to the singe of my tongue. But back to the snowdrift,
the roads clogged over with snow, a moon shimmering
inside the white frozen glow, the road a river. The pavements
being treacherous, we take to our boat:
come, let us paddle, slip into the warmth of my coat
like a traveller seeking shade in a cave.
And light a match, hold a candle to my skin.
The rock shall reveal a message therein:
sketchings of animals, shaped in wondrous awe.
I'll join you, my love: pass the charcoal
and turn your profile; in the faint lemon-juice
cave-shimmering half-light, I'll start to draw.