Incidental Hallucinations while Trekking across Antarctica
- for Colin O’ Brady
There’s an organ grinder racing
across the snowpack propelled by spider
monkeys wearing tiny Eskimo hats
and mukluks made of banana peel.
A team of miners with their sled
of canary feathers is spelunking
under the flows, convinced
a short cut lay among the trilobites,
glacial crush and amber.
There is a pallid vampire seduced
by the long night’s blush. His mink
collared cape askew, his coffin of blue
ice lurching across a crevasse, seal
blood staining the snowfall.
I lead the pack. My sled whittled
from shadow and wine. My dogs
crooning in canine Esperanto, lunging
after the caribou disappearing
in the falling drift.
Ahead, the finish line merges
into a mirage of frost, rising
as if it was a cathedral of rime
whose pope is the last polar
bear, smiling. Lips
like razors, teeth like oil rigs
piercing the permafrost. Impatient
for dinner, he wishes me god’s speed
and tender cheeks.
Published in DEEP WILD