We walked all day along the channel where a chain of ice islands bobbed and the lighthouse swayed in the side-winding snowfall, reeling in its line then casting again and again until finally its beam froze out on the horizon.
She asked what ground we were standing on—snowy ice or sand? How could I answer when the wind wasn’t in my favor? The lighthouse turned away, the dark blossoming.
“Manifestation,” she whispered.
We knew how it would be.
A zephyr flew in from the Arctic and swung its heavy shoulder blades our direction. What both of us wanted we didn’t allow: to hold one another on that northern shore. Instead, we tucked our hands deeper in our pockets and with whatever consolation angled in and rubbed elbows to cut the cold wind.
She left me to reach for a crow, swooping down to pick its windless body up and hold it, framed wingtip to wingtip across her chest.
I threw a stone into the Canadian Shield.
She said, “Its integrity remains.”
She rocked the crow’s shadow in her arms, I spun the camera around and focused its eye on the spell of light being emitted, tapped finger to snap and capture the shape of the next breath, but the lake hissed and nipped at my shoes.
The picture: blurry, half-bird, and my disappearing act.