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“O for a Muse of fire,
that would ascend
The brightest heaven
of invention,
A kingdom for a
stage, princes to act
And monarchs to
behold the swelling
-Willam Shakespeare
King Henry V

What the Ice Worms Eat

across the Bearspaw Dam
the low moan of a lake.
the syntax of air
like a great belch inside a queasy ice.

my T'ai Chi lover stills me on this weir
groping for words
between the lines on my face
his hands are beaten into gloves
that smooth the sore care behind my eyes
enter the deep holes of me like apocrypha
a small boy with fingers in a dike
salvaging sand, a village, a country
of people asleep who would,
except for his exquisite T'ai Chi
be flushed into the sea.

I grab his hands to lick their crags
before the lake freezes
want his fi ngers in my mouth
want a word from him for heat
beneath frozen glass.

2006 Calgary International Spoken Word Society