The enemy misled that missed the island in the fog,
I believe in one or the other, but both exist now
to confuse me. Dark from dark.
Snow from snow. I believe in one—
Craggy boundary, knife blade at the throat’s slight swell.
From time to time the sound of voices
as through sun-singed grass,
or grasses that we used to insulate the walls of our winter houses—
walrus hides lashed together with rawhide cords.
So warm within the willows ingathered forced into leaf.
I am named for your sister Naviyuk: call me apoŋ.
Surely there are ghosts here, my children sprung
from these deeper furrows.
The sky of my mind against which self-
betrayal in its sudden burn
fails to describe the world.
We, who denied the landscape
and saw the light of it.
Leaning against the stone wall ragged
I began to accept my past and, as I accepted it,
I felt, and I didn’t understand:
I am bound to everyone.
In a strait, some things are useful.
Others, true, she turns to ash.
her head thick with arrogance,
infection and futility.
It could be how a young wife went,
strewn with net-veined willow
and mountain aven—
trespass, and wreckage.
She could write about the year
she turned to heat and haze,
to laze: immurmurat-,
imauraaqtuŋa. Of cannula
and silver nitrate. Of petiolus
and achene, about to begin again.
Of greens as they green. Of a man
aged, eskered. Of a confined gleam—
to hereby dissolve and hold for naught
the soil / gravel / silt groaning
as the tools of our penultimate glacier,
a glacier I might pronounce like grief.
One does wish for words to thaw
in the mouth, but find instead a tongue,
welt. Erosional or depositional, raised
& visible, rift into language & grit—