Issue #4 July 2015
Detail from Bear Helps Deer Move an Old Sofa by Tim Frisch

Sarah Rushford


In Longyearbyen, the midnight sun and dark winter don’t concern me. They don't cause a disorder in me.

You have the idea that it is either blinding or pitch black. But the light is changing and difficult to name. You arrive in the short summer and talk about life as a path where even terrain is ease and steepness is difficulty, light is safety and darkness
is danger.

What if you see, on your easy descent, a mass of fallen ice balanced just above you in the landslip? What if your path leads gently to the brow of a low hill and you find a dead fox lying in the scrubgrass? It could not catch its prey and starved from the continuous light.


They carried a table and chairs outside to eat supper and read in the warm night. After three years, the table is still in the yard. After he died he changed into an animal. He sees her sitting at the bent table. It would have been right to take the table inside or cover it with heavy cloth. In late winter, when the animals are hungry they come closer to the houses. But a monkey has never come so close to the house. This is the third day the macaque has come. He’s calm and moves slowly through the deep snow. His coat is silver and tawny and stands out from his chest and his neck in a handsome mane. Although he is thin he is dignified and impressive with a hairless face, his gaze the same as a person. She places a bowl of rice on the table and he takes it quickly, then moves away. She wears a winter coat he doesn’t recognize. He knows there are beets in the root cellar and radishes, apples. He holds up the bowl in one hand and with the other he brings the warm rice to his mouth.

Fly Over the City

Remember last Wednesday
when we went with Lori in the truck
down to the orchard?

I told Lori that her name means truck,
in the UK,
and she didn’t believe me.

You can’t remember the orchard
but you say,
that’s L-O-R-R-Y.

You take a handkerchief out without unfolding it,
and let it nestle in your hand.

Peace be with you, you say.

I thought it was Please be with you
we said in church when everyone shook
hands with everyone all around them.

I want to tell you that I
got a new job
as a bike courier
with Fly Over the City.

You hand me your juice glass.
Peace be with you, you say again,
to me, to the table, to Lori, to the orchard,
to the handkerchief, to the juice glass,
to fly over the city.