Because it’s winter and I’m feeling sad I’m thinking
I would like to have a lot of friends and invite them all to a party.
A New York City penthouse dark-except-for-strings of-white-lights
kind of party—the kind Victoria’s Secret advertises its holiday party dresses for,
where people laugh their crystal laughs and drink fancy cocktails
from fancy glasses. I want a purple one, a dress I mean,
that hugs me like the letter S and sparkles like candy when I walk
across the room in the black stilettos that I bought just for this party
and will never wear again. But let’s be honest: most of my friends live far away
and I live in small-town Minnesota, which means I trudge through winter
like a farmer’s wife in over-sized flannel and thick socks,
my jeans tucked carelessly into heavy-duty boots.
I have hat hair for half the year, and all my dresses
are cotton, buried in the back of the closet like a summer crush
you know you have to stop thinking about but can’t. But I’d still like
to invite some people over, a small log cabin party of sorts, dark
except for strings of colored lights and the swinging lamp
above the card table. We’ll warm our insides
with hot cocoa and a splash of Bailey’s in hand-painted thrift-store mugs,
cinnamon sticks for stirring. Or maybe a glass of red wine
made somewhere in the Mississippi River Valley,
where the bluffs roll like soft clouds and say to the sky
I love you I love you over and over again.
To be totally honest, it doesn’t even have to be a party,
as long as I’m not alone. It could be just you, dear reader, my friend,
and me, layered in thermal and wool, drinking
ice cold Wisconsin beer and playing Scrabble by candle-light,
waiting out the battle of winter like the first humans
must have waited out the battle of silence, waited
for the brain and the tongue to form the first syllable, the first sound erupting
from the belly of the throat, parting the lips
like a clumsy birdsong in early spring.

About the Author:
Sarah Certa is 24 years old and pursuing an MFA in Poetry through the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in central Minnesota where she spends most of her time blowing bubbles and traveling to the moon with her 3-year-old daughter. Her work has most recently been featured in Mud Luscious Press and is forthcoming in em:me magazine.