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Blind Crevasse

                   —Polar explorer Richard Byrd


Hand by hand, over blistering slivers
of ice scraping wrists and slithering in ears,
hand by hand, with ferocious delicacy,
a furnace burning behind your efforts,
you pull your body away from that
crevasse, stand up, look back at what
you avoided, widening from one crack
to a vaster chasm hundreds of meters
down, sapphire, then emerald damask
on vertical plunging walls, an endless
corridor of spiked sea glass—

You were cheek on crystal, in a terrible fallen
field, your left leg dangling over
the roof of a crater toothed with punched
translucence. Ecstatic to leave the past,
to have glimpsed its Kublaian center, you
walk in an opposite direction

but it's still close to you sometimes,
half-lit, a story you might enter,
a submerged star, its azure pinnacles
ruminant. Did you think it wouldn't
fool you again, since you are safe
from its jewelled, devouring throat, the masked
abyssal draw of its depression
covered by a fresh and blinding snow?


Lisa Williams

Gazelle in the House
New Issues Poetry & Prose


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