When I Was a Glacier

Emily Skillings

That Bruegel painting
of hunters returning
in winter, the filmmakers
go nuts for it. A sad rabbit
on a stick & more. It’s like
really in there, tonally—
a male, disappointed
group trudge towards
a more lighthearted
communal flurry, women
and children full of fire
upholding weird roofs
doing the real work.

A moment ago I moved
something (not particularly
large) to the other side
of the table and felt
so old and immense
and in control. Like a truck
crunching on its path.
I project white onto the
floorboards. And isn’t
this music from that ballet
that always makes us?
Indistinguishable
from a folktale-pink shock

of pure quartz through the wall.
Give me one irregular mark
for my thigh to pit the year
against. 16th century sound
gets all over the daybed
and you relocate your teeth
to the opposite nipple.
My thought in that moment
it’s a brutal cave.
Brightest bird, tailfeather,
increasing gray line, fail me
my distant mountain.

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I never noticed anything but you
But you but you
So that I couldn’t sleep
I never noticed what was anything but you
Until I noticed you
And could not help it
Until I noticed you I could not help it
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But once I did
I never minded noticing
I never stopped noticing
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I never stopped noticing
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