In Winter

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In winter, when the sun hides from the Northern Hemisphere
for longer, and the wind reddens your nose until it runs,
one can hide their body under a mountain of sweaters,
a tactic I myself employ every winter with excitement.
I bury myself under layers upon layers upon layers
so that to the unknowing passerby, I look like
a thrift shop clearance rack instead of a person.

In winter, my body is my own in this sweatered cocoon.
No one knows what I look like under here; am I pretty?
Or am I hiding the unsightly body of winter under here?
They’ll never find out, and I revel in their lack of knowledge.

In winter, the only people who see my body are those
with permission, eyes that scan me with mutual desire,
unlike the men who pass me in the street in summer
that call out Nice legs sweetheart, when I am neither sweet,
nor do they have any claim to my heart. With baggy jeans
and a sweatshirt that hides my chest, they can’t even tell
I’m a girl. And no straight man wants to catcall a boy on accident.

In winter, I am a mystery to everyone except myself and those I love,
and for the few months that I have the cooler air which
necessitates the need for many clothes, I delight in being unknown.

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