North of Us

by Nicholas Spengler

When everything has left us
but the long bone
of birch against the blackest sky

When all has gone
but the blood heat of you
in the dark I taste again

And when nothing remains
then for us to do
but drift our distant ways

You across the widest waters
to your own country
and me to mine upriver

Remember to look north
over the frozen bay
past the farthest border

Where that cold but seldom bitter
city with its dirty aurora
lights the sky a little

City of miracles and high collars
where snow erases everything
and everyone walks on water

Where candles lit in alcoves
warm the whispers
to saints and lost loves

When all else fails
we’ll find each other there
north of us

In that far
impossible city
that island in the dark