Cold Plunge New Year’s Day by Katherine Szpekman

I am one of many fools
in a Speedo, standing on the beach
in the arctic air.
The morning sky ribbons,
iridescent as a mollusk shell.
At the whistle, we run,
like baby turtles to the sea,
run as if into the arms of a lover,
as if out of a burning building.
No hesitation. I shatter
like my grandmother’s butterscotch,
like a mirror, releasing ghosts.
You are dead, so I run.
I crave the cold on my bare skin,
submerge the top of my head,
withstand the jolt,
come out knowing something
about being alive.

— from Juniper Volume 7, Issue 3