Our First Christmas Eve

by N. Andrew Spackman

The air above my parents' roof is cold.
It pushes smoke back down the chimney.
I turn off the fire alarm
and open both windows, but
my wife and I still can’t breathe,
so I hang a wet towel from the mantel,
next to the Christmas stockings
my mom made for us.
On mine she needled baby.
The one she made for Kathy
is black with soot.

Beneath the smoke,
Kathy and I drink eggnog.
On our hands and knees,
we lap it up like kittens.
She hides her hands in my hair
and sponges my face with kisses.
"Be soft," she says
when I bite her lip on the hide-a-bed.
That night, in dreams, I stand before her,
black with soot and tempting.
She says all she wants is a pomegranate.