Finding Warmth In Winter

There is something so pleasant
about a charcoal fire,
that can change a gray winter evening
of murky puddles and dirtier mud,
into something warm and dry
that smells like woody smoke and heat,
and drives out that wind that was just thirty minutes ago,
making you shiver like when you have
a fever or the way a dog shakes off water,
and the smell of the burgers
sizzling on the grill with the flames licking up around them,
is delight ful beside the smell of the fat dripping onto the fire
with that soft "sssst" sound you could fall asleep to,
with the added the percussion of cracking, snapping fire
that is warm enough to burn your skin if you aren't careful
(which is to stand at least an arm's length away)
and leave your tan skin with a white welt
that'll hurt terribly tomorrow when it peels,
and the laughter of your friends and family
is loud, but the way you can hear your own cackling,
echoing in your ears, reminds you that you are happy,
to be eating good food that burns your poor pink tongue,
and drinking bottle after bottle of pepsi,
until the fizzy brown liquid makes your throat hurt.

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