POETRY

To Live Beyond

By

She is said to carry a wooden box
instead of a basket, the one who appears
when you lay to waste while others
would never capitulate—

you vanish into another kind
of silence or the sky a constant blue,

you return from the end of the plain
between the shins of peaks you have yet
to gain, to gather water, water, splendor.

Joan Kane is the author of The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife and Hyperboreal. She has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, the Donald Hall Prize in Poetry from AWP, the USA Projects Creative Vision Award, an American Book Award, and fellowships from the Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska State Council on the Arts, Alaska Arts and Cultures Foundation, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and the School for Advanced Research.

Kane graduated from Harvard College, where she was a Harvard National Scholar, and Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where she was the recipient of a graduate Writing Fellowship. Inupiaq with family from King Island and Mary’s Igloo, she raises her children in Anchorage, Alaska, and is on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

She is said to carry a wooden box
instead of a basket, the one who appears
when you lay to waste