Iceland: Notes Left Out of a Travel Journal

And in this isolation I remember
the one who peeled my oranges,
split them sacred. Farewell into
my mouth when we were nineteen—
aiming for unbroken, for nothing
festooned, no rind, pith, sticky pits,
only one thousand fine segments.

The elderly man in this otherworld
of lava told me he brought his wife
a thousand miles hoping to heal her
with minerals from the warm, ashy water
the sun’s turned a pretty blue. I hope
I was grateful to that boy. Another midnight
of light. What’s to come between
this love poem and the next.


This poem also appears in Pretty Things Please, a collection of poems by Marjorie Thomsen.

About the Poet:  Marjorie Thomsen is the author of “Pretty Things Please” (Turning Point, 2016). Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize twice and she has received writing awards from the University of Iowa School of Social Work, the New England Poetry Club, and Poetica Magazine. She’s an instructor at Boston University’s School of Social Work and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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