-11

It’s -11 degrees Fahrenheit here right now, and the temperature is dropping. It’s predicted to hit below -30F tonight. How people lived and continue to live at these longitudes without electricity still baffles me. I wrote a poem in undergrad that reminds me of nights like tonight.

of a caribou
i heard it will snow tomorrow
the days have been so much shorter
my eyelids have been
falling
wrapping
all of my body
in that sort of sleep
that drinks you down
like milk.

when it snows here
it melts three or four times
until finally, one day in early december
it sticks, and it stays
it blows in drifts
and holds down
the roofs and the grass
like they might cling
to the sky if it weren’t there.

i sometimes
think it might never
melt out
that i may never
leave my house
or see sun past five in the evening.

and then i think of
the inuit
who sleep naked
and peacefully
in their ice huts
when it
is ninety below zero outside

the raw hide of a caribou
cradling two of them
at a time.

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