the compass speaks

on the downside of the white mountain
where black fear pounds each midnight on the door

until splinters flew like bullets
until the pounding in my head became the blackness

where the terrifying silence of an eon
the literal ice age of sorrow
becomes the mode of this north face

and even now
in the lower fields of green I can still feel
the bitterness of frozen rage
stinging my face, snowflakes in a storm

through the foggy window pane
only cold sunlight strikes my face and
burns my eyes

I reach out in snow-blind wonder at the cracked stars
that will not be my guide
squinting
stumbling
forsaken
close the curtains

1993