Islandia – a poem by Kara Knickerbocker


Each hour I am stunned alive by you:
Glaciers jutting into forever sky, 
how the soft sea of your mouth burned so blue 
that we stood there mid-morning, asking why 

we were gifted such air more pure than god-- 
the backbone carving through this mountain ridge, 
every bird song, the pine’s gentle nod,
river rocks and mountain talks, body’s bridge

bending to the bloodless earth. A blank page
where I retrace roots, wonder what’s to come: 
the clouded future, words a war to wage 
like the moment ink sets in, leaves you numb.

I walk to the lake, frost silvering sheer 
kiss my own wrist, woman warm, without fear. 

Kara Knickerbocker is the author of the chapbooks The Shedding Before the Swell (dancing girl press, 2018) and Next to Everything that is Breakable (Finishing Line Press, 2017). Her poetry and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from: Poet Lore, Hobart, Levee Magazine, and more. She currently lives in Pennsylvania and writes with the Madwomen in the Attic at Carlow University. Find her online:

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