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Arctic, Christian Ward - Volume 3, Issue 1


The first time you tasted chemotherapy,

there were no side effects apart from an Arctic

chill turning your lips blue like the wiry

hospital blanket you wrapped yourself in.

You shivered the troughs and peaks

of the Cordillera range, mirroring

the echocardiogram to come. No snow

fell in your cubicle, but it was cold

enough to trace the outline of a snowman

with your breath. Colouring it in,

impossible. You could've sworn there

were animals with you: a chandelier-antlered

caribou. The travelling village of a herd

of musk ox. Arctic wolves. A lone polar bear,

back curved like an igloo. Dall sheep.

A snowshoe hare. The ghost of an Arctic fox

at the foot of your bed, silent like a spirit.

Christian Ward, London, UK

Order your copy of Volume 3, Issue 1 here.

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