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Galloping Glaciers by Jade Tarris

I warm my bones one at a time by the river of ice. I ask: “So, glaciers ‘gallop’?”

“Not many, but some.” Frost curls my fingers in, I press you for a reply. “They don’t race                           blitz                                sprint                                     Why?”

“I don’t know,” you say. “Don’t ask.” I think I’d heard of rivers and glaciers enough to make me want more.

I’ve quickly learned that ice has its own metronome, a tempo floods                     ebbs                        advances                           retreats.

The icy rivers flex, beating, dominate no mountains, no snow, and so remain glacier free.

Filled with so much water, a closed system invested in glacial ice twenty millennia ago.

Today the bridge isn’t so much a bridge as a causeway, hundreds of miles wide.

“How do you cross a river that you cannot stand on?” The question is simple, but I am not the one to have voiced it.

“I don’t know,” I say. “How?” The river heaves. “You tell me.”

Sometimes the cold makes it hard to speak.

I should say that I have been pagan, primitive yet not crude, deeply content and moved by you.

Always facing death, always acutely alive, making music and love to stay warm.

“Do you remember the way back?” “No,” I say. The trails are frozen over.

How easily we regard the rhythm of the wild as brutal and backward.

For many, suffering is simple, beautiful, filled with flowers and birdsong, clean water and air.


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