Karissa Morton, “Hibernaculum”
Author: Poetry Editor
October 30, 2013
This week, a stirring new poem by Karissa Morton.
An apparently lifeless, frozen frog can resume respiration and the heartbeat restart when conditions warm up.
So I, being in the habit of taking, took a wife—one who called me her nurse of the underworld, one who let me hold her—alive though barely—through the faithful bleeding, she with dark eyes telling me the frogs were waking, that warmth tongued their wild centers, coursed through each tissue. And as rain did to pond, so she to me, loosening my roots & sloughing my heart’s winter casing. Death disguised itself inside us as desire, our bodies a sea of nectar enough to warm each amphibian lung. And like the ranidae, this was her ritual call—that once she was dead, but now alive, risen & large in anticipation.
KARISSA MORTON hails from Iowa & holds an MFA from Bowling Green State University, where she currently teaches creative writing. She’s the poetry editor of Revolution House Magazine & editor-in-chief of Poets on Sports, & her work can be found widely, including recent appearances in The Indiana Review, Guernica, The Paris-American, & ILK.