Polarity

You come to me at night,
Your hair unbound, each curl a flame
That sears my skin like ice.

Each word we speak is ice,
So hush. Be silent in the night.
Let frost give way to flame.

Each fingertip like flame,
Like rain–each kiss is laced with ice.
Oh, when will it be night?

It takes us each: the night, the flame, the ice.


Participating in yeah write’s December poetry slam! This is a tritina. I was given the words night, flame, and ice.

17 responses to “Polarity

  1. Oh, Christine! The imagery in this and the emotion…I’m overwhelmed. Truly a masterpiece.

  2. I especially love this part: “Your hair unbound, each curl a flame.”
    Every line of this is so spare and clean. You go sooooo far with just a handful of words. So sharply done and lovely.

  3. Goosebumps. I have goosebumps. This sang to my heart.

  4. Christine! This is stunning. I love the rhymes you add in here, building on the repeating words. Like this: “Each fingertip like flame, / Like rain.”

  5. This reminded me of the last relationship I was in that was so contentious but so sexually charged I didn’t know whether to flee or f***ck. Great use of the form, also. Thanks for sharing!

  6. “each curl, a flame” and the comparison between a flame and a raindrop caressing are my favorite moments here. I think you did the best job of highlighting Rowan’s strategy of creating tension with opposing words. Every time flame comes up in your tritina it stands out and resonates.

    • 🙂 Rowan knew what she was doing when she gave me those words. They were kind of in my wheelhouse. Thanks, Nate, I’m glad you liked it. (The line you quote is my favorite, btw.)

  7. You really make all this look so easy. The brevity of this tritina speaks volumes — less is more. Two words like “so hush,” show everything about this relationship — tender, knowing, attentive. Whew.

  8. Pingback: abandoned | Arden Ruth Writes

  9. Pingback: War Poem in the Snow (Cento) | PIGSPITTLE OHIO

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