Beneath a winter moon, the frozen remnants of an abandoned nest
sitting just above us in the branches of a stripped tree
are transmuted into mistletoe

With the engine stopped, there is a hush inside the car
a sense of reverence
overwhelms all phobias of hemiparasitic plants

The chill is forgotten as we embrace
and there is only warmth and the flutter of our hearts
beating in unison to the pulse of a desire now revived
after seven years on ice

The seat belts in this car are broken
and there is nothing to hold us back
as we kiss

I would stay in this moment with you forever
as the mist of our breath intermingles in the cold
two conjoined ice statues with one intensely burning core
melting into one another until winter's final exhalation

But you place one word softly in my ear
whispered at the closest range

"Careful," you say

And though I don't know for whose sake you say it,
or precisely what you mean to convey
it's a warning I will do my best to heed
as we carry a fragile joy we found residing
amid abandoned nests and hemiparasitic plants