Through the Ice

Are you willing to suffer to feel good again?
You might try walking on thin ice,
you might try walking on slippery ice,
you might get hurt a little.
You might feel a little discomfort in this procedure.

You might give yourself two black eyes
and find yourself eyeless in Gaza
from watching someone fuck the cradle of civilization
or maybe you yourself will fuck the cradle of civilization.
It’s cold in the holy land at Christmas time,
the little towns of Bethlehem, Gomorrah;
in Gaza, the air temp is 40 degrees,
they’ve blasted out the windows at Al Ahli hospital,
no slippery ice there,
but all the bodies super-cool.

When you find yourself in a long, narrow box,
feet pointing toward the east
(because we like to take our corpses straight
through the gate
to let the flying soul follow its lonely husk,
and we like the east, it smacks of resurrection,
we are an optimistic people,
we believe in souls),
if you follow a narrow box
to its logical conclusion,
you might find yourself among the sparrows.

But if you walk on ice and hear the heavy cracking sound,
if you walk on frozen water and fall through,
keep your clothes on,
they add buoyancy,
do not lose consciousness.
If you fall in,
fan out your scarf and parka
turn in the direction you came
because it held you once,
place your arms on the unbroken surface of the lake and kick.

Ice can bridge an ocean and archipelagos,
ice will freeze the surface of your lake.
Ice will melt when atmosphere conditions are conducive
to water flowing freely.
Justice rolls like water,
righteousness like a mighty stream.
Words are not the antidote
but they might save you from drowning.

These words are not for melting.
The weight of something else is already breaking the ice,
fan out with everything you’ve got,

Front page image by Jaysin Trevino.

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Lynette Reini-Grandell

About the Author

Lynette Reini-Grandell is a lithe, brown reptile living in the Mississippi River. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry City USA, It’s Animal but Merciful, The Understanding between Foxes and Light,, Poetry Motel, The River Muse, Evergreen Chronicles, and as part of an art installation in room 5D of the Carlton Arms Hotel in Manhattan. She performs regularly at Dusty's in Minneapolis with the Bosso Poetry Company, a subsidiary of Bosso Enterprises, theoretically based in Big Lever, Wyoming.
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