Maureen Alsop/Joshua Gottlieb-Miller
Maureen Alsop/Joshua Gottlieb-Miller
The Plot to Topple Iceland

All the road signs look like Rorschach
tests. I measure distance by the animals
I hit. East of Reykjavik, a whole
spread of empty arteries, the world
resting on the back of plywood
boarded windows, the dull
mid-Atlantic wind, a dialect
of the snow year. Transitional

season at the hotels, rounds
warm 6-packs of Thule
and liquor Brennivin, known
as the Black Death.  Here I lay
my plot of ice, unfinished
hitman, prayer of cold air

dealt into the fair dealing
of devotional farmers,
country Vikings.

In the only country where waterfalls become
rote and too-long days are followed
by too-long nights the water
has its own commands.  Before each wilding
the Vikings would abandon
bells and croziers along the coast. Now

I purify myself.  Icelandic snow
so bright from scrutiny that it freezes
all it should touch, spreading
forward like a white death.  The grain
wakening the mission. My last sip
of port, my lapsed narrative, the ice a last
refuge of water, a cold
swill of digestive enzymes.  Once

I woke to killing I found the weight
of missing words filled
the description of my desire,
the loaded chamber.

My mouth forms the shape
of a sparrow, I can kill
the sky with little to discuss.

While pads of butter congeal
in my target's stomach, the bathroom mirror
shines as slow as my reflection as heat.
I scrawl my name out of shower steam?
a stranger?s face departing,

a Gideons bible open by the bedside.
Shadows decipher my arrival, longing
for trees, shade, a slow river; the light here
on the blade 			knows me
by the void which kindles the void; knows
transparency is not in my blueprint of the enemy?s