You get as close as a mile,
then walk in, cracking heels
to the depth of each leaf.
Oaks are down, ice on twigs and stiff
weeds. You pull three days
of clothes from the frozen shelf,
pick your way back down to your car,
find a cheap motel.
There, a woman cries and cries
because of something someone said.
She licks the tears from her lip.
She says she can’t remember
what they say, only how
their lips are and what they do
with their hands,
whether their face is loving
or not. You walk her back
to the van where her baby
sleeps and her Cherokee husband
picks his teeth and smiles at you
through his thin mustache.
She climbs into the back seat
with the boards and dust.
An hour later you see the van.
It nearly hits you as
you start to turn left. The woman sits
on the seat. She looks toward
the moon, and eventually,
your eyes, blank as the freezing
light shining in.