Cabin Fevers by Lake Vargas

When the wolves claw at the door
tonight, I will not open it. Frost lines
the windows with a glittering crust.
Before the fireplace, you’ve curled
into a ringlet, flames tilting closer,
intent on illuminating the crinkles
that sprout up around your mouth
when you laugh. Logs spit sparks,
yet nothing about you shies away
from anything. When I think about
you, I want to wear your dresses
like flags, feel your socks cuff me
at the ankles, pinch my toes close
in your too-small shoes. The space
between the door and threshold
has been blacked out by snouts,
wolf teeth glinting in the dying light.
But if you hear the rustle of furred
bodies congregating on the porch,
wolves huffing like they’re trying
to blow out one big fire, your hands
show nothing. You pat at the patch
of carpet that has only been covered
by your shadow. Then, you wait,
until I finally crouch down and join it.

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