The night is dark and winter is filled with both.
I cannot see for all this waiting.
There is more emptiness than light
radiating down through the universe,
the great Void echoing my own.
This snow-covered wood is a great darkness too.
The cold steals inside me until I stand empty
and I am in the night as much as it is in me.
A chorus drifts through the stars
falls upon me as gently as snow
fills my head like a wave before the storm.
I will never hear again.
I open my hands—
if the knife is sharp and quick
will I be able to hold all my entrails can I keep them from falling to the ground.
I’ve never gutted an animal before only seen sheep or deer standing on the side of a county road
but I already feel the gush of life and blood.
It smells like minerals
like earth turned to flesh.
Which part of the Earth am I—has the deer seen me—
My blood can only melt so much snow
before it too slows and turns to ice.
Kathrin Köhler is a recent graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. She lives in Madison, WI where she attended university and currently drives cab. She’s a woman between cultures, which can be a bewildering [non-]place to find oneself, though the view is sometimes breathtaking. Kathrin’s poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Stone Telling, and Goblin Fruit, among other places.