Thursday, 14 March 2019

A Poem by Victoria Nordlund


Johan Ruud confirmed that the Antarctic icefishes are the only vertebrates that lack both red blood cells and hemoglobin--- Scientific American

As I look past the slender white quills
through the diaphanous fin
at a colorless center,                                         [at my last text with no response] 

I wonder why this had to happen---
Marvel that anything could exist
without red blood cells to ferry its oxygen.

A scaleless, pale creature
with no vessels to hemorrhage
after you’ve cut it

and thrown it on to ice.
This is so much cleaner, you’d say,
if you still spoke to me.

Slitting a cod’s gills would have left
stains on your hands---
dark as wine.

Victoria Nordlund is an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut. Her chapbook Binge Watching Winter on Mute will be published in Spring 2019 by Main Street Rag. She is a 2018 Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize Nominee, whose work has appeared in PANK Magazine, Misfit Magazine, Gone Lawn, Ghost Proposal, and other journals. You can read more of her work at

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