We Laugh on Cold Nights

Brianne Manning


I stopped feeling my nose forty minutes ago
and the dog lies at your feet, kicking his own
in remembrance of time spent sprinting
under oak trees toward icy water, never
too cold for our herding, water-loving zealot. 
The coldest January follows
the warmest December. 

Your mind cascades, leaps between
the colors of dreams. I pull myself closer
to you like a woman journeying for warmth
from a village without kindling. 
An hour earlier, we were laughing
about the empty pantry, the last glass
of chocolate milk, the overflow
of unwashed garments, the three blankets
tucked around us. 
Six hours left before dawn. 



Originally from the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, Brianne Manning is a freelance writer, marketing strategist, and poetry alumna of University of Central Florida’s Creative Writing MFA program. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Blue Monday Review, The Galway Review, Yellow Chair Review, Crab Fat Magazine, Change Seven, and other publications. She is a compulsive pen collector and antique enthusiast living in Orlando with her fiancé, two cats, dog, and multitudes of dust bunnies.

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