The winter you were seven
I slowly hung pictures
and the dark wrapped us up
safely in our nest of lamplight
and pop music. I put beach towels
against the bottoms
of the doors in a comfortable habit.
It was cold out, and at night
the baseboard pipes gurgled
with warm water and I slept
next to you, because why not?
And in your febrile hallucinations
you sat up and criedI don’t want to
and I laid you back down
here, on the pillow, and said
you don’t have to
and meant it as much as I could.