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Thingvellir National Park



I.

This is my second time here —
through the steady rain we walk
with our heads bent and hoods
pulled firm to stop the sky.

II. Drekkingarhylur


In English, the word translates to
“drowning pool”, reserved for
women who did the wrong thing —
their names are engraved on a plaque by the railing.


We joke
that this is an odd kind of
vacation.

III. When the thick rain stiffened to hail…


When the thick rain stiffened to hail,
you and I ran screaming to the car.

IV.


The man who took me here first is now
the President
of Iceland.

That day, the snow was
so dense that the windows on the bus
turned pure white.




A Dead Hare and a Spider at Work



Time heals nothing
How could it?

Memories are not
Popsicle sticks
Glued together by the
Steady hands of a young boy
A cobweb disturbed by a broken branch
Nor are they rip under the arm
Of my coat.

No, memories are the real thing
After all, you were once there yourself
You knew their breeze and saw their color
They could not tell a lie (and wouldn’t
Want to if they could)
They never speak the truth
(Though, spite this, they try).

Memories do not come broken
There is no “like” here, no “as” or “as if”

The room is the room
The kiss the kiss
The cup the cup
The eye the eye
The sting is this sting
And no other.

Yet sometimes, it’s so:
The kiss seems the sting
The room seems the belly of
The whale or the eye of the fly —
Alienlike and cut to pieces —
And the blast of wind heats
The body’s core.

But Blame not memory
For these impossibles
Or praise time for a dexterity —
A craft —
Like that of the spider who
Partitioned June sky with a web,
While cool sand collected
Between sandal and soul.


Luke Gopnik-Parker is a PhD student in philosophy at UT Austin

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