by Lea Claire
The thaw has set in. 
Cold, but the mountain sun has a strength that I’ve never known before. 
I’ve only known the sky as shroud. 
The cars rush by, relentless, until the record 
In the silence, the meltwater 
slips down icicle-bodies, 
onto ledges, 
onto leaves, 
onto pavement.
Wet trickle tickles the fine
hairs, inner ear spirals out of
control. It sounds like rain
but isn’t. I sat under the roof-
window in the bathroom, the
window open, parallel to the
floor, and watched the
raindrops up close and from
afar, hanging in sheets around
the church steeple. I found
the bottle of pills here, my
mother’s, fluoxetine. The
word for depression in
Danish is depression.
Through the floor-to-ceiling windows, I see each droplet glinting 
as the late 
  at an angle.
Part the beaded curtain       with parched hands. 
Their plastic facets can        cut as easily as any 
diamond. Let them tangle         in my split ends,
the tiny pop as the follicle        gives. Pop, the 
sound of the childproof cap         on the bottle of 
powder pills, new name                    every month as 
we discover nothing changes.              Night sweats, 
cerebral zips, brain tracks,            miss a dose. Can’t 
follow the world when I           twist my neck. 
The water rushes from
the gutters, snaps and
crackles against asphalt,
falling from a great 
The rhythmic echo. 
It bounce-booms in 
between alley walls, 
whisper-soaks forgotten 
newspapers, slithers 
down slick creek-stones. 
From the middle of the 
bridge, the water is green. 
I know it’s moving, but here,
in the deepest part, it looks 
Milk drop, 
mint tea.
Mor reads out loud to me in
bed, the plate on my knobby
knees, green-and-white slices
of apple wobble. My
child-mind, do I make her sad?
No. But I will. 
We used to walk along flat winter beaches, the ice like a 
        floating jigsaw, 
the horizon hazy and amorphous in its whiteness. The cold 
is familiar and undaunting, it burns the tip of my nose and 
forces my eyes to squint. It brings a silence that is mighty, 
pressingmychild-bodytogether, condensing the heat in my 
I pulsate.
I hold my mother’s hand, my
father’s, walk across the gray
wooden bridges with no rails,
discover the spots where the
ice is clear, not cloudy. The
stillness draws me closer; my
dad holds on to the back of
my jacket as I lean, 
too far. 
My mother tells me about 
the time my tears froze on 
my cheeks and she picked 
them off with her fingernails. 
Danish babies parked outside 
in prams, in freezing 
temperatures, tiny 
white-and-red faces 
peering out from under 
heavy snowsuits, 
matted sheep-skin, 
and up at 
opalescent skies, soft white eyes