I stare at Svalbard on the wall map:
wind-whipped polar seas and all
the world’s seeds stored for years
against armageddon and ambition.
Ten thousand stalks of corn in rows.
I watch a woman lonely stare
across thickening seas, the stars
out most days, bright and forgettable
twinkling motes of TV static
against the day going black.
Crushed beneath deep winter’s snows.
How many months till the whalers’ shack
falls silent? She shivers, kicks
at the tracks in pebbled stone,
pulls the emergency parka tight
against her wasting frame.
The fever comes and goes.