Slant Light

Jayne Marek

The light of interiors / is an admixture / of who knows how many / doors ajar…
—Kay Ryan

The light of exteriors
creates the Arctic Circle
swim of silver and blue,
recessions of brown and green.
Here the broad print of musk oxen,
here the run-step of caribou.
Here, seal shit. Another spot
is a dead kittiwake fledgling,
white-gray, still tipped
black. Its red throat is new.
Color all with yearning
less for warmth than for more
time, ever more time, to stand
barefoot, deep in chill,
while scenery flows past
unchanging. How does this harsh
outdoors enter a body,
ganglia electrified. Rock
faces hundreds of feet high
disappear in fog that creates
desire. No one lives
here without the here,
ice death forever remade
along a spit of pebbles.
So carefully does the polar bear
step down the scree, toeing
each surface with its black
skinpads. No more the sun,
perhaps; now ebony
and slate and blue-white
iceberg sea.

Jayne Marek

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.

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