Blood Snow at Cambridge Bay


She/I   trekked 150 miles     to find             caribou
a young hunter           coming         into an earth mound     cabin
a seal-skinned umiaq    our ABC crew       beached at 70 below 0
An Inua as in an egg    resident spirit being
                     fire inside      sweltering thoughts
dis        connect                   edly
in         and        out
auroras        magnetics        red dust        searing
a blessing
to the Beaufort Sea
a blessing burning         don’t melt 
melting                       don’t tell
I see an ice-star
trans-   trans-   cendent
She/I  change masks  into a  musk oxen      don’t tell
pull the hemp rope
leaving behind          Polaris’s        crystal flakes
She/I   die       leaving behind         Polaris’s         crystal flakes
at        Cambridge Bay        cabin     

dg nanouk okpik was born and spent much of her life in Anchorage, Alaska. She graduated from Salish Kootenai College with an AFA in Liberal Arts and Liberal Studies, and later attended the Institute of American Indian Arts, graduating with an AFA and a BFA in Creative Writing before receiving her MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast College. okpik has won the Truman Capote Literary Award, the May Sarton Award, and an American Book Award for her first book, Corpse Whale (University of Arizona Press, 2012).