Inside Her Curious White Sleigh by Laura Madeline Wiseman & Andrea Blythe

Posted: September 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

My mother said she had a glass heart, too easy to shatter. She lied.
She is a snow queen made of ice, eyes glassy by drink, tongue

a shard to slice through talk, a sliver chip beneath the skin.
We lived together in a glass house on a glass mountain blasted

by the winter’s cold. The roads were always closed, barred by gates.
My heart is comprised of scars, flesh thickened and hardened

like a cliff face, made jagged by glacier slide and snowstorm lashings.
I used to heave heavy, clumsy stones I found on the paths

around our home, ones buried under snow, frozen to the ground,
needing a pick axe to work them free. I made piles. I made walls.

I fashioned a slingshot to aim. Her cold hard glare never shattered,
only sent splinters, a sharp rigidity, a reflection like a mirror.

I learned to see as she saw—alpine slopes, hoary stags climbing
crags, clouds swirling with more snow, her judgment.

She said, All this is mine. I wondered, if so, what could be mine?
The crystalline air fragmented my tongue, taught me to speak

one truth, one against love, against the color red, against flush
of underskin burning, against that fire she claimed no one wanted—

not her, not I, not men. But I wanted her touch, any flicker
of warmth along my spine, a flash of sweetness in her gaze,

something soft, wrapped in bear fur. She had none to offer.
When she passed, she left me only the shiver, the snow heart, the ice.
Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of twenty books and chapbooks, including Drink (BlazeVOX Books, 2015) and Wake (Aldrich Press, 2015).

Andrea Blythe is writes speculative poetry and fiction, which has appeared in various publications, including Nonbinary Review, Linden Avenue, Strange Horizons, and Bear Creek Haiku.


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