With thanks to Kerry Ard
Once the glaciers shifted, there was no one to blame but ourselves.
The Baltic Sea froze over twice, ice in every direction. Imagine it.
Glass waves. Crests like icicles. Then came the failing crops,
the starving livestock, the famine and pathogens. The vulnerable
inherit the harm. Rumor has it magic, weather-making,
is a capital offense. One sorceress dives like a bird through
the patched roof, lands next to a bed of dozing children.
The children’s teeth chatter in their sleep. The witches
are rounded up. Officials say some magicians fly
with the help of the jinn. The cows give too little milk.
They sway in the frost all night. In the distance, the sound
only a violin forged from winter wood can make.
Sadder than usual. Some say only the jinn can make such instruments.
Some say you’re next. Hard to be afraid of winter when
the heat is rising. Harder still to kill my one magpie eye
and a house of silver, my blood-beating wonder at what could be mine:
a hairpin, a fin of moonlight, my mother’s brow and scales.
The United States was founded during the era of eugenics.
The land as brutal as its laws. And winter again.
A sheet of white for miles, white as far as you can see.