low moon casts the world in brushstroke— cleaves the distance carved by slow melt,
so i could reach out and touch the craggy slide of my opposite shore. or so it seems.
contained: a sculpted wreck, snow pelt, the muffled step of a bull moose, antler of hot breath escaping
the forest of its mouth. nearby, a husband and wife clasp hands in my dusk. the black planets of a harp’s
eyes watch from my water. these creatures are mostly night—begging at the moon, close enough
to kiss. they cut channels in each other—gathering and releasing the silt of their terrains. this is how
they find their language—whisper of current against my slope of smooth, wet shale.
what come wing drop branch to snow we listen close we fast our slow we move we quiet no scrape no claw on ice we pack what fire break mantle what wreckage of tree our wound a wing open in sun we tongue the bone want marrow get snow we fight what furnace of teeth our tangle of hide we snarl blood wing what sun gone blood song done
Aubade for Polar Night
on the third day we lose daylight
storm swallows an ephemeral sun and seals our doors with snowdrift
if this is how we die i’ll take it
yesterday the snowpack laid me flat along our piece of shore
showed us both the hungry harp
searching for a wounded bird not the pair of us not our laughter
it’s dangerous this world we chose
to build a home to carry home wolves take up the woods around us
this isn’t metaphor i’m speaking plain
we have nothing but night today even the tide has tucked itself in
we’re bound and allowed to return
Who owns the ice I cliff this tide The mother of land- scape is violence My father, slide
Anna B. Sutton received her MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and a James Merrill Fellowship from Vermont Studio Center. She’s worked for numerous literary organizations, including Tennessee Humanities, Lookout Books, and John F. Blair, Publisher. Her poems have appeared in Indiana Review, Copper Nickel, Third Coast, Radar, Booth, and Los Angeles Review, among other publications.
Header photo by Tatyana Vic, courtesy Shutterstock.