Curving Path

Stephanie M. Wytovich

Winter is a dust-covered palette,
a cumulus memory
in diluted ink;
it survives in blacks and grays,
in crows and fresh ash,
and I paint a forest of trees as barren as I am,
their branches like arthritic arms
holding me against the wind
but it hurts and
I cough on icicles,
see my breath on its canvas,
an impasto of sickness and age;
I use its solstice brush to smear
charcoal against the sky,
a chiaroscuro background of
feathers and soot
yet while blended and blurred,
a path evolves towards Spring
and I curve it out of darkness,
make it bone,
virginal in asylum-white,
but this blank madness is a snow bank,
a chest of clouds that hold the secret to rebirth
to second chances,
but it’s too bright for my sorrow
so I cover it, too, in shadows
of storm,
in a thunderous moor
uncontained by page
by season
or by art,
and now I can sleep,
sleep sound and sleep tight,
hibernate with snowflakes
that kiss my hair like serpents,
curl up next to winds that
scream my dreams
into nightmares.

Spark by Michael Marshall Smith

Stephanie M. Wytovich is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, a book reviewer for Nameless Magazine, and a well-known coffee addict. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an active member of the HWA, and a graduate of Seton Hill University's MFA Program for Writing Popular Fiction. Her Bram Stoker award-nominated poetry collections, Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, and An Exorcism of Angels can be found at, and her debut novel, The Eighth, will be out in 2015 from Dark Regions Press. Follow Wytovich at and on twitter @JustAfterSunset.

The Curving Path is Copyright © Stephanie M. Wytovich 2015