Yellow pours hot and strong through the window panes, spilling onto the green carpet fibers and fading them further. I lie flat before it, soaking in its heat, allowing it to puddle over my outstretched limbs. My fingers, flung over my head, dabble at the pane behind me, the glass cool and slick. In the wash of yellow pooled out before me, I can see faint shadows of motes milling between the sharply etched shadows of window panes that segment the carpet: lazy flecks of snow like wind-borne gnats hovering in the air
Outside the window, snow is another carpet shadowed with blue veins of tree branches, its surface flecked with chips of ice formed from crystals fusing in the sun. Animal tracks–the bounding sprint of my cocker spaniel, the skidding leaps of the rabbits that seek warmth under the slats of our deck, the tiny pock marks of squirrel paws–dent the otherwise unmarred nap. The bare branches that this morning were all sheathed in a white snow casing, brittle beauty against dull grey skies preserved by single digit chill, are now shiny with dripless melt. Only the trees on the east side of the thicket, in bitter shade, lift numbed and frosted fingers above their trunks.
Inside, however, on this heat soaked swatch of carpet, I stir, the back of my knees damp with sweat, my shoulder blades digging into the rough fiber. I close my eyes, and winter disappears.