“THERE’S NO THROUGH TRAIL” —HAN-SHAN, TRANSLATED BY GARY SNYDER
/ Winter Solstice Song

Winter Solstice Song

by Kelly Lenox

And if we don’t bury the body / it will cook microbially, / flesh separating into its colors / like leaves on a sugar maple— / red, yellow, green on the same / open palm. We don’t need to know why, / only when it will be finished / so we can get on with the / shopping. Spilling. Flushing. / Death sharp enough to slice / a shoe. The whole time, someone whistles / in the next room, or just outside. / We know only what we’ve lost. / Possibly even whom. She /—or perhaps, finally, he— / has already given up trying / to distinguish sound from color. / All is, he whispers on our necks. You are.

Kelly Lenox

About Kelly Lenox

Kelly Lenox is a writer and translator with work in Gargoyle, EcoTheo Review, SWWIM, Cirque, Hubbub, Split Rock Review and elsewhere in the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Slovenia. Her debut collection, The Brightest Rock (2017), received honorable mention in the 2018 Brockman-Campbell Book Award. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Kelly holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is an editor at the National Institutes of Health. www.kellylenox.com

Cold Mountain Review is published once a year in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. Support from Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences enables CMR’s learning and publications program. The views and opinions expressed in CMR do not necessarily reflect those of university trustees, administration, faculty, students, or staff.