Jan/Feb 2010 Poetry

Mallory's Element

by Lucy Jilka

Mallory's Element

George Mallory lost in 1924, found in 1999 on the North Face of Mt. Everest

I slashed a hole in the
atmospheric soup, stole

a liter for myself
weeping alveoli

into a gully
there's not enough to

go around. That was kind
of you to bury my

tibia and femur
in an Aurora of

yellow and green midnight.
Everything collides in

bone madness, mosaics.
Send a dispatch coded

into nine isotopes
mud silts and DNA.

With or without me the
glacier carves broken ribs.

At such altitudes real
matter seeps into a

crevasse, the trachea
hallucinates a thin

rope of abundance.
I debated crawling,

my vest pocket model
B camera graveled.

From the second step my
arms bleach into the plume


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