Dana Levin is the author of Sky Burial (Copper Canyon Press, 2011). She teaches at Santa Fe University of Art and Design and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
You don't have to break it. Just give it a little tap. tap tap. See, there's the crack. And if you pry it a little with the flat end of that spoon, you'll be able to slip yourself through. — To the woods where you're walking. Crushed ice above you like a layer of sky— Some sun under it making it gleam. Some snow under it bloodless and bright in the fissured heart, the winter morgue of its imagined land. — Where you can find her— Sprawled, face down, in the snow— Bracing herself up, a puff of ice at her chin, then seizing and dying all over again— Automaton. You prop her up. And it’s like shaking a doll, How dare it, How dare it— What — good is she for, there in her dying machine? You push her shoulders back against the trunk of the tree, her chest’s so cold it cracks— so you can slip yourself through. To the woods she's been walking, wondering where the living have gone.
Copyright © 2008 by Dana Levin. First appeared in Salmagundi. Reprinted with permission of the author.