for Galway Kinnell
Far enough north and you can read
white written on white, hear
whispers miles away, forget fire’s
name. You blink back so many red veils
so often they stop being blood. The fur
of your parka becomes indistinguishable
from your own hair. When your compass
comes undone, its arrows turning
unsure, a quiver, then a blur,
you’re at the end of the world where
the self is just one more minor flag.
There, you build a place in the ice
where you sleep until a roar
rises and blows out the fire.
Rises out of you, out of the endless,
restless miles, it doesn’t matter.