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Light: Winter by Inger Christensen

Another storm coming in. These days, so full of rain. Since I’ve moved in in a different house two weeks ago, I’ve been sleeping on a stranger’s bed. No. Wait. It was my great grandmother’s. But—yes, a stranger all the same.

It’s a big bed. Queen-sized. I grew up knowing mattresses that just barely fit the body. Now, at night, whenever I roll around, while reading or sleeping, I almost always freeze mid-turn, knowing for certain I’ll fall, but then I remember, and I fall back, safely. The bed is big. There’s space for me. I keep telling myself this. But night after night I forget, so I always seem to be hanging on the precipice, suspended for a moment, my heart stumbling over the fear.

Light: Winter
Inger Christensen

Winter is out for a lot this year
the beach already is stiff
all will be one will be one this year
wings and ice will be one in the world
all will be changed in the world:
the boat will hear its steps on the ice
the war will hear its war on the ice
the woman will hear her hour on the ice
the hour of birth in the ice of death
winter is out for a lot.
Out for the houses the cities
out for the forests the clouds
the mountains the valleys fear
the heart the children peace.

Winter is out for a lot this year
the hand already is stiff
the crying of children is heard in the house
one will we be one life
I hear my house slip with the world
and scream all that has been screamed
the heart rams its boat into ice
shells rustling in the hull
winter is out for as much.

If I freeze fast in the ice
if you freeze fast my child
my great forest next summer
my great fear as I come
if you freeze fast my life:
then I am a vulture of wings and ice
tearing my liver, my living life
awake in eternity.

This winter is in for a lot.

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