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Eskimo, Bering Straits

Wrapped in walrus skins I walk the ice between two hemispheres. One slippery instant, half of me is Sunday, and the other -- Saturday. Or neither. One long Polar night. My grandmother has spun a cat's-cradle, imprisoning the sun for months inside a secret igloo. My ancestor the Whale saw distant silhouettes of frangipani, palm, papaya. Yet he engendered our tribe here, on this harsh coast where sea and beach merge under one pasture of snow patrolled by reindeer, seal and Arctic fox. Here I too will give birth to whales, or babies, who will early learn to swim the freezing summer seas. Perhaps they will teach me. I'm curious about the fragrance of mango and hibiscus , the taste of buttercups.

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