Elizabeth Laborde
Alaskan Sun
 
                        I
 
I wake to darkness. 
 
                        II
 
At dawn, purple-greens spill
from the horizon to the tree
line to the ice floes below. 
 
                        III
 
The river is metal.
 
                        IV
 
The sun rises, orange blue, at noon,
bending in an arch, malingering in
the trees, never reaching the sky.
 
                        V
 
At three o’clock, Village Hill swal-
lows the sun, a boa enfolding an egg.
 
                        VI
 
In twilight I walk home.  Leafless
alders, sickly chromatids,
gray under a non-existent sun. 
 
                        VII
 
I run to stay warm, the moon
gliding between branches,
seizing the snow.
 
                        VIII
 
Crystals glow under moonlight;
colors without names
live on snow.  I look away.




Among Natives
 
 
A.M. Homes writes about
things you should know,
stories of shoulds with
ten thousand words
built on piles of snow.
 
There are things I do not know.
 
I do not know the path,
the direction up middle hill.
 
Each day, I wake amidst natives
I do not know.  I walk along
the Kuskokwim River,
without reading the wind
on the water or the undertow.
 
I do not understand Yupik,
huskies and malamutes
attached to metal chains
they cannot chew through.
I walk past them,
squashing the tundra
beneath a trail
I never seem to know.