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A Glacial Oil World
A gray-black storm lies low, above the sea.
A 78 mile per hour windchill shatters any
water into icebergs, as I drown in my own element.
Rustling waves rolling me back to this massive
breakup outside and in. It glides past me blue-green,
blue-turquoise, collisions of pinnacles and pressure
points, which pinch. Volcano ash, radiation and
chemo ruin the physical. Old frozen cliffs, hoarfrost
lungs, clefts of monastic bergs adrift. I cough, cough
up bowels of human limits of sanity, sounds of gale
winds rifting the clapboard house I call home, as my
lungs carry my brain; carry my heart, and innards,
hands and feet; I hand palm the distance of sky and light.
0000000000000000000000000000Cut Yukon salmon
0000000000000000000000000000In my eyes, the river flows
0000000000000000000000000000The scent of burnt birch
Whiteout Polar Bears
Dead on—in the night sky,
or stuck in the deep web,
bear stars exist. Name the
bone piles on the marsh
heaving like the Chukchi
Arctic air rising. Fifty miles
of open water floating.
I’m a carcass with
marrow bones 5x’s an ice
bear at 1,500 lb. and 9 feet
tall. One swipe of my paw
you’re neck-snapped, to the ice,
melt ground, cheek to red
ice stream. I glance across
the whiteness to myself.
The landscape of the brain closes its eyes
to see the brightest red of Mars
reflecting millions of miles away.
Some human eyes, noses, mouths & touch is lost.
Infused infliction of what a whole mind body,
sheer willpower can do of who we are;
it develops if need or let be.
Bent & folded downward lies say a path of
As a sequence, series of pattern & disarray,
infinitesimal dust closes the extent of space and time.
The infectious ash of ghosts or
minute wonders of diminished capacity
as a sparrow swift in gale—of monsoon wind.
A sparring sparrow whipping, and whirring downward
to most not dying with wings,
flipping, slapping the water
as it rises to mitosis or meiosis,
luster in the division of methane.
A man or a woman duplicated or divided into two.
A man or a woman duplicated in nothingness
of pure carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, with a lumen life.
dg nanouk okpik was born and spent much of her life in Anchorage, Alaska. She graduated from Salish Kootenai College with an AFA in Liberal Arts and Liberal Studies, and later attended the Institute of American Indian Arts, graduating with an AFA and a BFA in Creative Writing before receiving her MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast College. okpik has won the Truman Capote Literary Award, the May Sarton Award, and an American Book Award for her first book, Corpse Whale (University of Arizona Press, 2012).