national poetry month, day 13.

I came across this poem on a literary blog a couple of weeks ago. I love it.

High and Bright and Fine and Ice
by Darcie Dennigan

When the motorboat man asked me to love him

I whispered precipice
the word for the no-more-boyfriend feeling

because precipice contains ice (practically twice)
because I wanted teetering–

What? he said

His ears from the engines–so hard of hearing–his hands always so hot

Mid our first winter–I’d clung so long to the dock
he had to crowbar my fingers off

Each digit cracked so cleanly
Would you say they break like icicles? I asked sweetly.

I knew I was nothing! But if I could sustain one song–
I is, I is, I is I is I is

I could be: ice

Sex on the bathroom’s cold marble counter was best
I whispered statuette, monument

What? he, sculpting my legs, said


The child? I named her Cecily
It sounded like iced lily

For pure, I said pristine
At the ocean, I said brine

Isle for vacation; for flowers, edelweiss

But when I said (only of late, late!) I choose ice
Brittle pearls broke behind my syllables

Did he hear me?
Again, twice, thrice:

For my love
we would need to live
in a great pyramid
We would need to sleep
beneath the continental shelf
with Antarctic crust blanketing us
The only driveway to any kind of house
is an iceberg-ridden Northwest Passage
When I whispered universe
you were to translate it as
one bright line
one bright rime

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