They call it “breakup” when —
The earth begins to warm
And the trees shed their winter coats
Spreading their prickled fingers
And stretching like a cat to meet the sun
That has spent so many months in hibernation —
Spring is breaking up with winter.
In winter, no one can bury their dead
The ground resists their spades
So patient, they must wait
The snow melts in breakup
Mounds of fragile ice flake,
Shearing from cliff faces
And into streets
Collapsing into brown puddles
No one mourns their passing
Breakup means spring.
They found her body one breakup
Discarded last December
She went missing around Christmas
But it wasn’t until April
That the ice heaved and sloughed away to reveal
Her, still frozen,
Under a pyre, saturated with wet snow.
It was a bad breakup
And like every story in Alaska,
“alcohol may have been a factor.”
They left the bar arguing,
She threatened to break up with him
Of course, she didn’t follow through.
But he made sure, this time, there was a breakup.