Frances Leviston

The Taiga The Taiga

Cold crown of the world. Boreas exhales the breath that’s preserved him all these years, kept the wolverine alive, and the spruce-blue stars keen as crystals of virgin ice clipping the pines on their northern slopes.   Most coverage here is evergreen. It grows in the short day painfully slow, putting down rings, and whatever waxed needles do pitter to the ground lie there still as pickup sticks in the reckoning    between two goes, as if the soft lynx  left these miles on long exposure. Bison graze, moss-obsessed. Fresh snow settling confuses them with abandoned dens and boulders. A she-bear, snug in the bed of her own fur,   lies under stone, four pink cubs assuming their forms faster in her womb  than the carcasses that nourished them can decompose. She dreams at double speed of balsam wood, hot piss and foreign males,   the planet turning imperceptibly underneath her shoulder. Honey congeals in hives suspended from conifer boughs. The yellow eyes of a Tengmalm’s owl click in the dark like camera shutters.

Jan 7, 2014 / Books & the Arts / Frances Leviston