14 Ways of Looking at an Icicle

  1. The icicle, left to its own devices, hates the luscious promiscuity of an ice cream cone
  2. An icicle deferred is still an icicle, but longer and more dangerous
  3. In December, the icicle is only a dream. In January, a blessing. In February, strange sculpture and the promise of spring. In March, an iron eye of suffering.
  4. Place your tongue on the icicle to know its secrets. Inside the icicle, trapped between the molecules of water, all the secrets of its passage from clouds into trees, through dirt, into streams, back into the vast cloaca of the ocean.
  5. The icicle always remembers the ocean.
  6. There on the sidewalk, on a tree trapped in a square of concrete, the icicle knows the dance of limitation. The back and forth of it. It grows down, but looks sideways.
  7. On a tree trapped in concrete, the icicle grows from the tip of a broken branch. Other branches show the blood-dark bark of new growth. The broken branch shows the icicle.
  8. The comma-clatter-clack of the woodpecker does not interrupt the icicle, but calls it back to its own silver song.
  9. Snow does not create the icicle. It would not exist without the forgiveness of the sun after a night of snow.
  10. The icicle does not believe in blankets.
  11. The icicle exists along the tongue of the eye’s gaze.
  12. This spring, the eaves melted onto a tree beside our neighbor’s door. Icicles grew sideways, the echo of their plastic bastard sisters.
  13. Within a week, gravity removed their rebellion.
  14. The snowman dreams of ice cream. The sandcastle dreams of the icicle.