To most who live in cold the word means nothing
for where they live there is no glowing heat
and if there’s heat it comes to them, impersonal,
by way of pipes or wires — who cares? it’s heat.
For others flame is anger from a gun
or bomb or other instrument of death;
the very thought of heat as warm and friendly
is laughable as life is, after death.
Or heat is law or law’s extreme oppression
or something else that robs and kills at night;
and if you think of rape as heat of passion
then you deserve to freeze alone all night.
For love and warmth of heart and hearth are such
that life without them doesn’t mean so much.