[At last, to be identified!]

A dirigible powered us through the first leg,
            traversing snow-capped mountains where goats
leapt from crags, and men with wrinkled
            apples faces looked up, pointed.

Smiling
            to cold air, I slept under a bear skin,
                        touched your lips in the night.

            On our pleasant soap
bubble journey, we dropped baskets down
            each morning, hooked meats, cheeses;
            in later weeks, nothing. Still, we took notes,

detailing the weather conditions, the migrating
            elk numbers and their steady decrease.
Northward by cracked compass,
            the sleet sheeting the balloon drove us low, then lower—

In time we cut through the ice, sank
fathoms into the sea, chaperoned by seals
            that are not mermaids at all.

Else you think this a hoax, know my hand—
down here still—please send help.

Rebecca Hazelton, “[At last, to be identified!]” from Fair Copy. Copyright © 2012 by Rebecca Hazelton. Reprinted by permission of The Ohio State University Press.
Source: Fair Copy (The Ohio State University Press, 2012)
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