By James Merrill

A cold so keen,
My speech unfurls tonight
As from the chattering teeth
Of a sewing-machine.

Whom words appear to warm,
Dear heart, wear mine. Come forth
Wound in their flimsy white
And give it form.


James Merrill’s poem is copyright © the Literary Estate of James Merrill at Washington University in St. Louis and appears by permission of Washington University and Stephen Yenser.