Cori A. Winrock

Portrayal, X-Ray

We snag cabs and drift through the middle
of the night.                   The city a cathedral

we are ushered into, press our ears against—
listen for the sea sliding inside

its shell:             the hushed shuffle
of feet across a pearling

asphalt nave, elapsed traffic, or blank radio
frequencies. The windows seal us in

with the damp                heat of our breathing.
Outside the lakes lace themselves with ice.

In this particular depiction we play at staying
mum, at detecting the pre-blush

blush, at transforming
the stray flock of ambulance lights         burst live

into a charm of humming-
birds. If it’s romantic to architect a thing

back into its bones—: imagine us           in ruins
from the start.

Cori A. Winrock
"Portrayal, X-Ray" first appeared in Colorado Review.