Little Book of Days
by Nona Caspers


THE RADIO says arctic ground squirrels live underground for eight months a year.  They lower their body temperatures below freezing without freezing themselves, and they lie underground and no one expects anything of them.  They are not asleep, they are frozen without being frozen. 

Yesterday, after I did yoga, I lay on my back on the gray carpet breathing and it became clear to me that I had to carry my body through millions more minutes.  How do I explain this?  There is no pause button. 

I am beginning to believe we are all going to die.

The squirrels have to be pure when they lower their temperature, the radio says, because if crystallization starts, even one microscopic icicle formed around a body salt, they freeze from the inside out.  When they wake up, everyone wants to eat them.

@2008 Nona Caspers
Forthcoming from Spuyten Duyvil Press, NY