i. Through November’s arterial horizon traffic flickers. Mountain bare but for a bent cloud clipping the ridge. What would it mean to see clearly— to know nothing’s there other than what is. ii. A clearing between scrub and birches peeling (white sheets flagging) where sunset sparks. And those hollow tones: geese gathered at the river’s gravel bank. They’re not singing; they’re sounding out a sequence of notes describing the color and shape of the cold. iii. The poem begins without a word while I walk through sideways snow. Snow barbed by a gone season. There’s joy in the unsaid and how it accumulates. This god-vacant pain, the run-on days, disrupted. iv. The day before the longest night of the year, December sun snags runoff from last week’s snowfall— a silver cord binding my eyes to asphalt, traffic, dead leaf floating in the flash. Overnight rain rearranged the mountain: white to red, faint red pulse under russet. Blinded again, I’m rooted to a world without me. Wordless prayer —this vacancy where the new life begins. v. Streetlight suspends hail in a sepia orb. The fricative hiss as stripped trees sift it. I hear it as language refusing to become speech. A circular breath extinguishing the familiar. vi. Open the blinds to snowlight— that bright, particular pain. There, in the shock, locate the real before it sinks into synesthesia. This is how winter makes itself useful: it tricks the body to trick the mind still. vii. Up late listening to rain run ice into mud. Does the room contain sound or does sound contain the room? Walls dissolve in the dark— a locked door opens. viii. I covet the cold, how it punctures memory and dislodges the rot. When wind is enough— harsh enough— to smother thought. ix. Clouded by snow fog a snowed-over mountain—mind makes it visible. x. After the snow squall sun mutes what snow remains in my vision, and the figure on the other side of the crosswalk too bright to say walking toward or away from me. xi. A few days lost to a false spring. Black slush caged by bolts of light. My mind, jolted, turned jagged; but last night the cold returned and when I woke morning was a window in the shape of a field draped in frozen fog. xii. A vulture circles a shotgun’s echo, carving into cloudless sky the shape of the field below. The air alone both altar and offering.