• Carlie Hoffman

  • POSTCARD FROM ALASKA

  •  
  • By February I eat the last cut
  • of whale frozen in a plastic bag.
  •  
  • The clouds above Barrow swell. Blackbirds
  • squat among telephone wires
  •  
  • like stoics and I have forgotten
  • the procedure of prayer. My hands
  •  
  • still my hands, the shape they make so my mouth
  • warms them. Interchangeable to the scene
  •  
  • where I hold a half-dead gull, oil already
  • corroding its nerves. Parts of its skull
  • no longer light up.
  •  
  • People, too, contain a dangerous spill
  • inside them: a transmitter out
  • of date, whole spheres submerged
  •  
  • in serotonin.
  • If I can believe in electricity, I can believe the dead
  • still live somewhere—
  •  
  • a zip code to a dim, immutable
  • breathing. A voice calling out
  • This is not the body you longed for
  •  
  • Even the crows who stalk power
  • lines have flown from someplace else.

CARLIE HOFFMAN holds a BA in literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey and an MFA in poetry from Columbia University. She received the 2016 Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize, and her poems have appeared in Boston Review, Cider Press Review, Narrative, and Nashville Review.


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