by Steven Feeney
I remember the novelty of booking an hour
in the ice bar. We slid and squeezed
past furniture—water in stasis—
shaped antlers, crested thrones,
and unsculpted bricks
like the block of time we had bought,
In Ice World, we make plans carved in ice. Solid,
no mercy for latecomers, but trickling down
between our toes as we decide
which stories we have time to tell.
“Is that clock right? Get that down ya.”
Thank suffering baristas as we leave
with numb tongues.
I remember the gear we were bundled into
by our Sherpa drink-servers. Woolly hats,
plump puffer coats “and the gentleman
will have the hot pink gloves?” “Oh, they’ll fit.”
In our tundra uniforms we were packed into the shipping
container, where they stored Winter
for the Autumn.
In Ice World, we wear protection; rubber-band twang
around the ears. A cloth that erases your
mouth, but speaks. It says, “I’d rather look silly
than chance killing someone.” It’s unfashionable;
an access pass to the fractured former everyday.
Huff, huff, and glasses fog up.
The world freezes over.
I remember the strangeness of the solitude, during
our slot in the tipped over freezer. Just us two
and the bartender (‘bored out of his ice-
He asked us to come behind the bar and have a look,
if we liked. The social convention of bartender-punter
crumbling as we avalanched over the counter.
In Ice World, we are ruled by snowmen
who point gnarled sticks in unclear directions
and melt when questioned.
We sit spread out, on untouched blankets of
grass, and adapt to this new blizzard planet
or freeze in place and wither.
During his time in Aberystwyth University, Steven Feeney was fortunate enough to have a number of poems featured in MA anthologies. More recently, his short story ‘Wow, What a Day’ was accepted for the Freedom issue of Popshot Quarterly.