Summer Job as Glacier Tour Guide

by Joyce Zhou

In these last years, the glacier had turned a dull, trembling pink
     and industry bloomed like soft dough, the city a softly-molded mountain.
In these last years of warmer ice, there were rules only we understood.
     Rookies must be able to dig road in the amber of dusty lamps because
each rock could be a sinkhole when each person can be sunk as easily as dust.
     Our youngest is sixteen, still turning.
               Jumped naked into the nearest lake because he cared too much
                    about the rite, about the weather.
In these last years, I wanted to sink myself as a doorway.
     Tell us a story they said. And so I opened.
On the tour,
      the gravel scratches the children, and they suck on chunks of pink snow
around and around the soft of their cheeks, tongues sweetened by the cold.
      More and more people have gathered to cup the mountain in their mouths
                    to swallow the glacier,
                           the glacier that pulls at the sky.
      This is the story where everything
             has begun to fade but no one apologizes.
In these last years, I came every April to dig the ice fields from light.
      The ice is sinking lower into the valley.
              I dream of this job as flight.
In these last years, the glacier has become less of a sight and more of a feeling.
      The smoke from the mountain has begun to rise, yet we continue to live blindly.
This is the story in which the Earth has begun to flood.
               And so I opened.
                          And so I opened.
                                     And so I answered.