The Coldest Woman Still Alive by Maria Mills

You want me to tell you what’s going to happen?
Grease ice will form first, then slush.
We must be careful not to bury too suddenly
those who are very cold. A woman in Norway
skiing in the mountains fell deep into a frozen river.

Her whole body slid below a sheet of ice
for 80 minutes. The water in this frozen river
was sure to burn her dead with its cold, and indeed
soon she had no pulse, but she came out alive.

Though in coma she was floating,
hands clasped over her belly, hard in the face.

Maria Rosa Mills is a Seattle-based writer with work previously in American Chordata, Heartland Review, and Event Horizon.  Her prior academic and research background–in marine biology and biomechanics–lends a scientific persuasion to her writing.  She’s currently an MFA candidate for poetry at the University of Washington.

What has she lost that she’d most like to be reunited with? “While living out in Spokane, WA I had a great mattress–wide, low to the ground, exactly the right firmness, and it belonged once to my friend’s grandmother so it had an heirloom-like air to it.  When I moved to Seattle it wouldn’t fit in my car, so I had to leave it, but I didn’t own a bed out here for several weeks, out of respect.”

Art — Philip King lives with his partner, cat, and two plants in Portland, Oregon. He is in the process of editing his first novel and creating his first graphic novel, and his work has been featured in the Portland State University VanguardPathos Literary MagazineAnnex Zine, and Literary Brushstrokes. He has displayed work at the Saatchi Gallery in London, England, the Todd Art Gallery in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and in Portland at the AB Gallery, the MK Gallery, the Sugar Cube, St. Johns Racquet Center, the Littman Gallery, Synesthesia Festival, NextNorthwest, Splendorporium, and the Holocene. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Practices from Portland State University in 2016.

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