If we must speak of each other, let it be
in the forms that monarchs and generals use
to refer to their rivals, as if each were known
to the other only through field reports
and classified intelligences. Let it be
in tones of wariness, grudging respect, and,
where permitted, mutual admiration.
Let our campaign be conducted on these terms.
And when people speak of the “break-up,”
let us hear in that the cold overtones
of the word as applied to a glacier: how,
when the ice began to shudder and crack,
new light found an entry, and the patterns,
evolving each moment, each moment formed
something lovely and fresh—a lens through which
a bright, eerie world not previously known
offered itself to be glimpsed—as the fragments,
the small frozen fragments, mindless and free,
tasting a life more open and salty
than any that they had known, made their way,
their steady, grim way, their cruel, ineluctable way
toward that sea, that vast,
that insensate, that insatiable sea.
—from Rattle #22, Winter 2004