Winter is nigh. The sun tucks itself away early. The darkness, indefatigable. The cold exhales, unwinds and spreads out across the night. But we are defiant. We summon warmth as we find our way adeptly through the opaqueness of shadow. Eschewing the holy, I lead you in prayers tumbling off the peaks of our breath. Yearning extinguished. An appetite, whetted in the feigned warmth of daylight, is sated. The chill of the night is now a heat, pure, indulgent and borne of intemperance. I sear my image into the backs of your eyelids… the memory of my skin fused into your fingers… the taste of your breath on my lips is the flavor of your salivation. A smudge of my lipstick lingers on your pillowcase… and as I exit, the darkness and the winds, descend in unison upon the night. The winter may threaten to consume you… but you know where to find me… and when you call, I will be there to stave off the frost.