Winter in Three Parts

By Adam Arca


So he melts on your tongue like a snowflake 
and he tastes like the sky or maybe the early morning 
when the sun is about to rise on a cold white desert
and you let him fill your mouth dribble from your lips 
and drop to the earth like rain or maybe tears
so you ask him why are you crying?    
and he looks up from a pool of shame
like a child who wet his own bed and lied in it
and tells you how much he regrets ever leaving the clouds. 


So it’s snowing in November and he takes you for a drive at 3AM
(because you aren’t worth the daylight) 
and you joke about dying or maybe crashing into a gas station 
and he laughs but you don’t know if he got the joke 
(because his eyes are fixed to horizon)
so you talk about the future or maybe something called destiny
how in Korea if you see the first snowfall with the one you love then it is infinite 
and he laughs but you’re not sure if it was a joke
(because you haven’t been sure about anything in your life)
so you insult him or maybe his disposition
how he once called you whitewashed for not knowing your ancestors’ language
or how he once told you he only likes straight men and you asked what does that make me?
how he said he hated movies didn’t like to read that fiction taught nothing other than fantasy
so you ask him what do you dream of? if there was anywhere, anyplace you could go, where would it be? if there was a possibility of endless possibilities, where would I fit in them?
and he turns to you and he laughs. 


So the snow is painted red and the glass is glistening like stars twinkling and twisting and refracting like your cracked spine against the window shield you crashed and you wonder whether or not it matters who’s to blame when you’re hurdling at 100km/hour out of a car what makes sense then?

Oh yes remember you were fighting about something something stupid like identity you were shocked he didn’t know what Stonewall is or that he didn’t want to do anything with his life except live it or that you were really two different people and it didn’t make any sense that you were together anyways it didn’t matter now your skin touches the asphalt and is set aflame flesh ripping against hardness like a match and you don’t scream you wait till your body stops about 50 yards away from the crash and you close your eyes and you ready yourself to die but you feel him next to you and you don’t feel a lot and it doesn’t make sense it really doesn’t but you hold him close you put your head against his chest like you did when you first made love in your apartment how you listened to his lungs expand and shrink while a storm of sirens wailed into the darkness of a September night you hold him so close you swore you could only hear one breathe and you kiss him and he looks at you and he’s dying and he’s beautiful and you ask him won’t you play with me in the snow? 

And he laughs.

And I wonder what the paramedics will say what the police’s faces will look like what the onlookers will think as they get out of their cars how our parents will react when they see two brown boys’ bodies splayed onto the snowy pavement so bloody so battered so bruised so broken that two became one.


Adam Arca (he/him) is a queer Filipinx aspiring poet, academic, and EDI researcher currently studying Health Sciences at McMaster University. His work explores the meaning of queer & Asian desire, despair, and optimism in a hostile landscape traversing the individual to the institution. Adam’s previous work has been highlighted in the Queer Toronto Literary Magazine.

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