Ice Out

Karen Kilcup

Karen Kilcup

A teacher and writer for over forty years, Karen Kilcup is the Elizabeth Rosenthal Professor of English, Environmental & Sustainability Studies, and Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at UNC Greensboro.

Ice whoops. In a week
the lake will be loose
as blood, throb with wind.
A pair of muskrats crack
freshwater mussels, suck
the gleaming flesh;
the chickadee pours
his dropping mating call,
the notes halves of a whole.
In the pale night, your pulse
ticks against my thigh.
Your torso presses like sun
on frozen water: turtles stir below,
fish ripple in silver fingers.
Your fingers taste as old as salt.
I want your eyes to mirror mine:
the gaze of the drowner
surfacing, blinded by light.

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