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John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Penumbra, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Lana Turner and International Poetry Review.


Trigger Warning

It’s winter
and your cheeks
are raspberry red,
your arms white,
your lips tingled blue.

It’s so bitterly cold out
and you’re standing
on the platform of the commuter rail,
bundled up in Christmas sweater,
toque and thick gloves.
But that’s nothing to the wind.
The blustery chill
ignores what you’re wearing,
goes right for the bone.

You keep telling yourself
over and over,
“I’ll be home soon.”
The people there
may not be friendly
but the temperature
is sure to be.

Outside is January.
Inside, the month
is set back on its heels
by thumping radiators,
a heat blitz from the boiler below.

The other faces
may not warm to yours
but at least their breath
is unfrozen.
They may give you the cold shoulder.
But that still leaves
every other part of you.

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