Hila Ratzabi was selected by Adrienne Rich as a recipient of a National Writers Union Poetry Prize and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the author of the chapbook The Apparatus of Visible Things. Her poetry is published in Narrative, Alaska Quarterly Review, Drunken Boat, Linebreak, The Nervous Breakdown, Leveler, and other literary journals, and in the anthologies Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology and The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. She is the former editor-in-chief and poetry editor of Storyscape. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and lives outside Philadelphia.

Hila Ratzabi

Imaginary Arctic

On the trip I didn't take to the Arctic Circle I was eaten by a polar bear. I was pregnant and fell into the icy sea and the embryo froze. I was stuck on a ship with a bunch of arrogant artists for two weeks. I saw icebergs the size of God's head. I wrote letters on frosted paper. I ate Cliff bars and sweated under layers of polyester and fleece. My eyebrows hardened. Everything melted in time lapse speed and the ship rose by inches each day. The sun never set. All that daylight did nothing but brighten the surface of loss. Where there were shadows photographs were taken. Sketches drafted in snow, music sifted from silence. On that trip I wrote poems to the disappearing planet. I saw the poles meld together, houses float on united seas. It was a new earth, a wet one. Some of us were left bewildered, hands pressed to glass. We waved at each other from windows in our flooded living rooms. It was a trip I'll never forget. I took glaciers home as souvenirs. I planted my face in the snow. I'm so glad before everything happened I got to go.

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
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