Ice skate
ing you never think
about your troubled life or how
you called in sick from work.
You think about coldness
and solid things beneath your feet
and how pretty women are in jeans and sweaters
and how sweet the men seem at their wrists.

There are blades that cut
deep soft ruts in the white lake,
kick up grated puffs of ice at the rims.
There are people and their breath
you can see in the glass,
big fuzzy blue coats that trail in the air,
boys with shirts that say freedom to skate,
fingers baking in friends' oven-hands.

When you leave I don't
want to say bye to you—
hurtling across the ice you open
like an envelope for my arms. I wish
the rink was open later,
maybe until midnight when kids
pour out of there on Fridays,
their legs aching, the stars solid, warm.