Self Alaska

by Bill Yarrow

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.
                                                           -Franz Kafka

Was there, he wondered, some parasite,
some infiltrated germ, some totalitarian
pest, asbestos fiber, cancerous
particle, irradiated isotope, sliver
of glass, peach pit, foam nugget,
stray hair, impinged corpuscle,
magnesium wad, metaphysical
quill or arrant stalk moored in him,
or what? Why was it so difficult to move
toward anything? Was his will congealed?

His doctor recommends an Arctic cruise.
He travels to a frozen stream, a frozen
lake, a frozen sea. He photographs the awesome
ice. A glacier calves inside him.