Les Kay

Frostbite

All snowflakes look very much alike;
like little white dots.

-The Smithsonian

They walked from club to club,
arms chain-linked. By the third club,
stumbling, holding tight, as if the other
would vanish when grip slipped.

In the steaming cacophony of another
club, cheap vodka and vermouth
perfumed their sweat as they feigned
the familiarity of lovers.
Snowflake—
the word fell featherlike as if the other
were not just another white dot on the horizon
—so similar to so many others—as if they
had come close enough to bask in delicate
flaws: a thin scar above an eyebrow
left from a childhood game of chicken
with a brother, the dappled freckles,
summer’s seething sun edging currents
that raged through one’s eyes.
Names are
stones thrown into a confluence of rivers.
Martinis, our antifreeze, brace against the cold.


Les Kay is the author of The Bureau (Sundress, 2015) and Badass, which is forthcoming from Lucky Bastard Press in the fall of 2015. He holds a PhD with a focus on Creative Writing from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA from the University of Miami, where he was a James Michener Fellow. His poetry has appeared widely in journals such as PANK, South Dakota Review, Southern Humanities ReviewWhiskey Island, RomComPomSuperstition Review, and The White Review. He is also an Associate Editor for Stirring: A Literary Collection. He lives in Cincinnati, teaching writing, and caring for three very small dogs by steadfastly keeping them away from his current favorite sweet: generic chocolate covered raisins.

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