The Boiler

Chelsea Dingman

OBEDIENCE

In a previous carnation,
I knew fresh snow on the sills
as I grabbed my ankles
& asked you to be gentle
moving in & out
of the room as you collected
your things, heat rising
from vents in the floor, the thud
of the thermostat kicking
in. I couldn’t watch
another man leave
as my father left, fresh snow
on the sills. Though your leaving was
only temporary, I was left
grabbing my ankles, face
pressed to dust & hair on the hardwood
in some shitty apartment
I can’t remember the name of
now. This morning, I wake
& mistake air conditioning
thrumming from the ceiling for winter
in your voice. You whisper,
bend over, as you leave yourself
somewhere I can’t name
& again I’m left with my hands
at my ankles, waiting for you
to leave the way snow leaves
when I try to catch it
on my tongue.

_________________________

Chelsea Dingman is a Canadian citizen who studies poetry and teaches at the University of South Florida in the graduate program. Her poems are forthcoming in Phoebe, The Normal School, Harpur Palate, The Adroit Journal, Quiddity, Grist: The Journal for Writers, Raleigh Review, The Fourth River, Bellingham Review, and Sou’wester, among others