It was terrible, the clarity
of northern lights that scoured the trees
stripped bare in the work of snow.
How did I survive
in that purity, in dreams
that rebuilt the walls of my cell,
air whose breath denies you?
—The cold flare, a watch on fire
as you, the smallest thing, judge.
Then the fear gave way.
I walked on a crusted surface, falling
into my own form, rising, proceeding.
You gave no call to answer.
In that, I learned your vagaries.
Did I then see a life may fail,
made too wanting to be fertile?