Even a Glacier is a Rolling Thing

By Alec Hershman
December 5th, 2013

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Even a Glacier is a Rolling Thing

A drumlin is a topographic canker, pulse
in my temple—starts with the uphill thought, 
with my calves so long and taut my flat-footed
friend could fit his feet to the backs of them. 
We are always caught mid-shuffle, mid-spill,
two dominoes shoved back from the time-
lapse of real time, and sometimes to wrestle
is to follow or to wish the lumber and wax
of your opponent down upon you. Beneath him, 
you are most local, most fixed, 
the gymnasium's halogens buzzing above—
sterile thrum that makes ruddier the ruddy 
of your wimpy breath, your pinned wrists. 

You are, after all, the emerging middle 
of some emerging thing and so why not
middle school, with its slough and rut 
and shove and stammer, its brutal cryptograms
scrawled on pheromones, and the private patterns
only you can see floating in linoleum.

And the boy, after all, is your friend,
is a boy, is a body, as opposed to 
your tongue. All day you've had the scant feeling
that the pillow was slipping its case, that this skin 
was not your forever skin. Math drifted 
with instructions like underwater garble, 
gregarious equations clicking on the board
while the tree out the window consumed you.
Along its trunk hung pale cicada shells.
You suspected the ghosts were happier 
elsewhere, or else delirious in the grass 
from a shortness of breath, where they too 
felt the weight of the breeding.