BY EMILY PAIGE WILSON
I feel most alone when I am
cold. Winter is not a blister,
a pulse and press of white
suspended in the skin. It’s a fever
and I wait for it to sweat into sweeter
things: fragrance and footfalls, purple
petals puddling on the street. When
the cold loneliness settles in and steeps,
there are places that make me
feel safer. I walk through the statues
at Vyšehrad and stare at Libuše,
mythical princess who prophesized
the rise of Prague. Her gray frame
stands stark against the branches, against
the sky blanched to bone. She sweeps
her arm towards a vision that towers
only in her sight. She named it Praha.
She named it Threshold, trying to find
a word for all that can be endured.
Snow floats slowly before her stone face.
I try to hold her like a map in my mind,
even though she is looking forward
while I am reaching back.