Go North with all your brass co-ordinates
to the snow, adoration softly falling like handclaps.
Here fat haws grow in multitudes
last refuge of the fruit failed. Their thorny pricks
swell with blood, each drop pregnant
with its own fall. In rain, they glow. Leave. Your ship
Endurance—step aboard—is waiting on the rocks
her rags lit by the flicker of a passing fox.
As you sail deep into your arctic forest the talking trees
will know you. That they may speak
to you in your own language, the crooked one.
Break off your sprig carefully. It is a grafted tongue.
Blood and sap will hiss before the red mouth rasps: Back.
Don’t. You must keep up your icy search, in your sinking ship.