What the Cold Wants

The Iowa Review - - NEWS -

To­tal mind con­trol, ob­vi­ously, though it might start with a sim­ple ce­viche, am­ple off-street park­ing, and a mostly be­liev­able al­ibi. Gen­er­ally speak­ing, what the cold wants is ridicu­lous. The prob­lem with the cold is that it comes from more of it. It’s di­vis­i­ble only by one and it­self. The cold is not in­vited to many wed­dings. Among the cold’s life­time achieve­ments: ev­ery touch of a stetho­scope, zero for six­teen from the floor, Shack­le­ton’s last note. Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts, the av­er­age tem­per­a­ture of the en­tire uni­verse is neg­a­tive 454.76 de­grees. Room tem­per­a­ture is a mir­a­cle. More than any­thing else, that’s what the cold wants you to be­lieve, that it’s per­fectly nor­mal, that it should be al­lowed to feel right at home as it seeps be­neath the doors in search of a meal whose first course is your bare toes. Like a hun­gry preda­tor, the cold saves the warm, wet heart for last. The cold is a form of sur­veil­lance. It’s mostly just time. Safe at head­quar­ters, the sci­en­tist lis­tens to the bat­ter­ies in the ra­dio col­lar slowly die, but she knows the wolf is out there still. From you, the cold wants noth­ing. Only in.

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