Iceland in January
The story I’ll tell about Iceland is this: I went there as a witness.
It was like we were going to Parliament, waking early in the dark and drinking what was warm
and wrapped in wool mittens. We did not bother to style our hair and our shoes lacked fashion
but were sensible for the terrain.
The Northern Lights hid from us, unaware perhaps that we might not be back. That this was our
single opportunity. We froze out there, and allowed our minds to see the streaks of emerald and
ice, like the postcards promised.
The Blue Lagoon was a comfort even if you were single and acutely aware of your loneliness.
Sink into the waters and heal. Glide from here to there and absorb everything this northern land
I witnessed the end of my sister’s relationship with a partner she cherished. We three looked out
past the seafaring sculpture at calm waters and none of us knew about the sadness turning into
And then there was sleet and still not enough light to admire the random church off the slippery,
lurching road. Near the waterfalls. No one could blame us for nodding off in the jeep while our
driver inhaled from his fist something ground and ginger-colored.
It’s hard to emerge from this place. And maybe giving up the predictable pattern of light and
dark is worth the shift of the world beneath the skin.
Cari Oleskewicz is a writer and poet based in Tampa. Her work has been published in a number of online and print journals and magazines, including The Found Poetry Review, JAB Magazine, The Collapsar, Blotterature Literary Magazine and Sasee Magazine. She is presently at work on a collection of travel essays.