Frostbite

Less a nip than gnaw,
the way a goat,

tethered, will ruminate
a rope; the way

each in extremis tip
of ear and nose

unbuds, or snail-
like toe, curled

dreamily, lets
go too fat a foot,

cinching filament
and tendril, pinch

by stony pinch
until the pulse exhausts

and flickers down
to drowse and numb,

the sleep so close,
so old, so mild

inside the placid
scald

and hissing of the snow.

More Poems by Hailey Leithauser