You touch my glass, say brr. This is cold I say, like snow.
The way ice feels against the tongue, water in the bath
that’s left too long. We turn the lights out: dark. This is
what stars look bright against, what you need to fall asleep,
black velvet. Up you say, hands raised in the high chair,
wanting release. It is where the sky resides, where you find
the ceiling fan, how you hang clothes.
For now, these definitions will suffice. One day up will mean
the way you feel when he takes your hand; dark, the short
black dress you wear on New Year’s Eve; cold, champagne
on your wedding day. My daughter, words are my work; they
describe birches, wind, birds’ wings. So many adjectives, so
many ways to say. My word for you, love, both noun and verb.
Catherine Harnett is a poet and fiction writer from Virginia who has published two books and whose work has appeared in a number of places. She writes many coming-of-age stories which illustrate life through the eyes of children as they experience the world. “Her Gorgeous Grief” appears in a volume of Coming-of-Age stories from the Hudson Review.