Sunday Apr 14

Dominguez-Poetry Johanna C. Dominguez considers herself bi-polar as she writes poems about both the Antarctic and the Arctic. She grew up in Nairobi, Kenya and received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in Drunken BoatThe Cortland ReviewMississippi Review and elsewhere.


How to tell time in Antarctica

Glaciers that stutter
between mountains,
tongues lurching into drowsy
seas. A granite-dusted
ice shelf that crumble-laps
at water’s edge. I see

an executioner’s axe blade. A stiff
pendulum that tells time
by descending. Time is a collapse.
A shudder of eclipsing ice.

Lonely Lovers

Glaciologists say that soon the Beardmore
in which Robert Falcon Scott lays
entombed will reach the Ross Sea and break
off to become an iceberg. This is not rejection
but a release. Finally unbridling
her companion after years of confinement
a piece of her goes with him. She embraces
him in love two hundred yards thick
that can sink ships and still last
twenty years. Together they will drift
until they reach warmer seas. There
they’ll disjoin as she dissolves.

Glacier Speaks

I cannot move any faster. My collapse
is forced surrender. Disintegration.
No one to hear me fall.
I can never be part
of anything. I scar mountains,
invade seas. My pieces
drift to find belonging. You know
I am serious about living.
It is not my fault
that you are blind.


Every time an iceberg forms, a nurse
pulls cotton to dress a wound.
When the glacier snaps,
sand shifts under a camel’s
step. A mouse exhales
in a cat’s paw. As the ice
stumbles into the sea, there begins
an eagle’s dive, a house
collapses, a pianist
plays his last legato.  

Frostbitten Strokes

The last time Robert Falcon Scott took razor
to flesh he cursed the blade he held. Wept
for the loss of each hair – vanguards against
frost. As he sharpened the edge on leather
he damned the Royal Navy for their rigid
rules of barren faces. As he took knife
to his companions’ cheeks, stripping
them of their last garrison against
Antarctic blizzards raving outside
he apologized wordlessly with each
tender frostbitten stroke.