Cold Questions


In the small, dark hours, I perceive
frozen chunks set loose in me:                       
jagged blocks of icy skin
above the right elbow
below my left ankle
over the third-eye scar on my forehead.
My knuckle. A toe bone. A tooth.
Elsewhere tonight there are bears
tired from swimming swimming
for the simple lack of their land mass. 
Is this body melting,
breaking apart from its main land?
What strong and wild thing in our lives grows weak
for lack of which parts that are no longer there?                   
I am stardust and fierceness of bear.
Between my thighs and the moon, the sky pulses                             
with lost chords from arrangements of answers.
How do I take them with me?
How do I walk them out from the locked wards?                
How do I portage them through swamps
and light lanterns to mark a way through?                     
Where do I forage the spider webs,
and how, then, to staunch the deep bleeding?

Pat Osborne is a poet who does most of her questioning from Vermont.