Icicle Woman by Nicole Beck

art by Cynthia Yatchman

The woman freezes. The woman is me. I freeze.

A storm sweeps the mountain. Snow falls too thick,

I lose my way

for a season.

It’s frostbite, I tell myself,

nipping the color from toes and fingertips.

Trails lead me back and forth across the mountainside.

Paw prints at first, and then,

footprints. I spy at cabin windows,

waiting to be seen.

With cold gusts, with spires of ice in the chest,

snow that never leaves my lungs, with

frostwhite hair, I bend

to pull a traveler from the deep drifts.

But my touch brings

ice. My help is deadly. My remorse

can’t substitute for a life.

In the spring sunshine, I confess myself dead.

Goodbye to the deadwomb caves

cool oblivious interiors that sheltered

whatever it is I am.

I go downhill, slow at first, then tumbling

head over heels with avalanche speed.

The bright sunrays find

what’s been hidden so long away

I indulge in the melting

heat

that flies into me

bearing a dissolution.

My last sense a dampness

a steady rising

towards rain-gathering clouds.


Nicole Beck has an educational background in art history and media arts. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, ‘the god of naught’ (dancing girl press, 2018) and ‘angel tiger sleeper dante’ (red bird chapbooks, 2018). Her flash fiction has appeared in Rue Scribe and Coffin Bell. She also writes SFF book reviews for Strange Horizons.

Cynthia Yatchman is a Seattle based artist and art instructor. With an M.A. in child development and a B. A. in education, she has a strong interest in art education and teaches art to adults, children and families in Seattle. A former ceramicist, she studied with J.T. Abernathy in Ann Arbor, MI. though after receiving her B.F.A. in painting from the University of Washington she switched from 3D art to 2D and has stayed there since, working primarily on paintings, prints and collages. Her art is housed in numerous public and private collections and has been shown nationally in California, Connecticut, New York, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon and Wyoming. She has exhibited extensively in the Northwest, including shows at Seattle University, Seattle PaciOic University, Shoreline Community College, the Tacoma and Seattle Convention Centers and the PaciOic Science Center. She is an afOiliate member of Gallery 110 and is a member of the Seattle Print Art Association and COCA (Center of Contemporary Art) and an affiliate member of Gallery 110 in Seattle.