70 Below Wind Chill by Susan Firer
Black ice enters the collective vocabulary. Vapor midair freezes; ice crystals are everywhere. Oatmeal sounds good. The city stumble closes. In the stalled Siberian front (-25), not one pair of long johns are left in our cold local Target. Through it all, the lake moves east in ice, beautifully gives itself up, rises in human-shaped steam bodies, like a late night scare movie. Steam devils the shivering weather- man calls the human-sized ghost shapes that dolphin-tail-walk move over and away from the forming ice. The lake gives itself up, returns all its ghosts: swallowed snow mobilers, & great lake ship captains, murdered wives, the passengers of capsized boats, suicides, & diaper-tossed, drowned, lost babies. All come forward with the cremated lake-buried dead, all wild shaped as spring overgrown-alley, light-lavender lilacs. And if you look long enough, everyone & everything you've ever known comes toward you & becomes you. Every night on the TV news weather report they show frost bit toes, or ears, or fingers. Last night, the toes looked like odd-crescent chocolate cookies dipped in C&H sugar; the fingers were one shade darker than river salmon.
All contents copyright © 1997, 1998
The Blue Moon Review, All Rights Reserved.