When the sun bleeds into my bedroom

I’m against the window at a pine desk,


one eye closed, just trying to keep

the blinds open. I can’t ask for sunshine


and be mad when she shows up overdressed.


I want to appreciate everything

and all at once. I want to let the heat


and shine bake into my winter skin.

I almost forget what it’s like to sweat


but I remember—my mother leaving

the oven door open

like a tongue.


The sweaty faces of three children; cold backs.

Fleece blankets pulled around ourselves


with the corners in our fists, nets to catch the hot

from the oven. We let oven heat slip around


our shoulders, welcomed the burn into our

comforter cocoons. Our mother gifted us so much


heat we would forget about the empty oven.

And when the open warmth made us dizzy,


she put vanilla extract in a mug and closed

the oven. A house that smelled of fresh baking,


three bundles of blankets, and a lit up

oven window too stickied to see in.

Chrissy Martin is a PhD student at Oklahoma State University and has an MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. She is the Poetry Editor for Arcturus and an editorial assistant for Cimarron Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Comstock Review, The Southern Review, Atticus Review, and Breakwater Review. Find her at chrissymartinpoetry.com. (2019)