Sunday, March 18, 2007

Elements by Katie Hartsock

The air you breathe freezes
on your beard, rough strands
icicled and gleaming like the trees.
I bring my mouth to your chin
and with my tongue
I eat your breath.
We are walking in an ice land;
Does Iceland’s name mean Iceland in Icelandic?
Who names countries
by what they can’t be sure defines them?
The only hints the island lets slip
as to how hot the earth gets towards her middle
are the geysers, the springs, the steam billowing
like a rumor over the blue snow.
I take your gloved hand in my gloved hand
so that you might open
your warm wet mouth again, say
something you have not been taught.

published with author's permission

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