Whiteout Polar Bears


Dead on—in the night sky,
or stuck in the deep web,
bear stars exist. Name the
bone piles on the marsh
heaving like the Chukchi
sea-pure-ice-white and
Arctic air rising. Fifty miles
of open water floating.
I’m a carcass with
marrow bones 5x’s an ice
bear at 1,500 lb. and 9 feet
tall. One swipe of my paw
you’re neck-snapped, to the ice,
melt ground, cheek to red
ice stream. I glance across
the whiteness to myself.

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).