Poetry 2014 / Volume 45

Slipping — Emm Borgerding

as if everything was
ice and your
fingertips were numb.
Some sort of syrup

–honey, maybe
if the bees hadn’t died years ago–

a thick lake in the
pores of your tongue.
You claw at the dirt in
the wrinkles of your feet but
don’t find the stone that has been
scratching your heel and
causing your limp.
A thousand miles away,

–or maybe only five hundred
or maybe just a few feet
just out of grasp–

some throbbing organ lies bleeding
and you think it might belong to you
but you can’t remember last Saturday
only that there wasn’t a moon
and all the fireflies froze and
floated to the ground
as if the stars were falling,
as if everything was ice and
your fingertips were numb.
The wind stopped blowing and
everything was still

–or at least,
it felt that way–

until you realized the
only dead thing on the tundra
was you.

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