You run your trapper's eye
up and down my spine,
train white huskies
to draw the sledge,
white ravens to follow it,
and burn across sheets of ice
singing passionate Inuit chants,
northward: to your igloo,
filled with brown jugs of pickles,
cod and crystallized blackberries,
pebble blue pots of tea.
We show each other skin, hair, teeth,
our incisors' precious metals,
our azure tattoos.
I flaunt my royal birthmark,
you counter with an old arrow wound.
You touch and wonder at
my ritual striations.
Wolf packs howl
to see the igloo steam and glow.
In a thousand miles there is only
one gold lamp.
Beneath the gaze of its warm iris
you rub your beard over every scar
of whip or harpoon.
We forget our merciless tribes.
Margaret Benbow is a poet and fiction writer whose poems and stories have appeared in many magazines. Recently, the collection Boy Into Panther and Other Stories won the Many Voices Project award and was published by New Rivers Press.
The Ekphrastic Review
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