i’m carving you an ice hotel

Robin Gow


not like the one that’s built each year
in quebec with its vast blue hallways & tunnels
& beds of ice draped with furs.
i’m making yours
out of individual ice cubes
from the white tray in the fridge.
each a little rounded rectangle.
i’m using tap water & filling each reservoir
considering what kind of windows
these might make & if the sun will
destroy it all before you even wake up.

i stay up all night to make your ice hotel.
let me explain, i’m doing this entirely
for myself. the brevity comforts me.
i like the idea of a structure dying each year.
i watch videos online of the ice hotel
melting & the rooms shrinking down
to nothing. in my head
i imagine all guests gathered outside.
a kind of funeral. watching the room
they slept in turn to water again.

our ice hotel will last even less time.
the heat from my fingers destroys it
as i work.
here is your chandelier.
here is your love seat.
here is your television of ice
& here is where i want to lay with you
while the blankets turn to water over us.

each year they go back. bring trucks
of ice blocks. lay a new foundation
of ice. they touch the freezing walls
& see their breath turn vapor.
in their great fur jackets
they take photographs of every single room.

why does my memory write itself
on ice? i took pictures of you
& you laid out beautiful for me.
i can’t remember what i wanted
when i took them. i just see your body
& how your skin was even becoming ice.

a fear of melting. i collect jelly jars
to keep out hotel in for once it’s water again.
i tell you to look & you love it
& your walk around. cheeks blushed
from the chill. i don’t want to
kiss you but know i should.

i want to put the whole hotel
in my mouth with you in it.
it’s not that i want to harm you
but i want to feel you melt.
i am a terrible red open oven.
why must we be so warm?

in the aftermath the mud is a form
of weeping. we slosh through.
our boots get stuck over & over.
i am a cruel architect.
i want you to come back each year
& see what i’ll make for you.
i want only to make wonderful rooms
that collapse.



Robin Gow is the author of the chapbook HONEYSUCKLE by Finishing Line Press. Their poetry has recently been published in POETRY, New Delta Review, and Roanoke Review. They is a graduate student and professor at Adelphi University pursing an MFA in Creative Writing. They is the Editor at Large for Village of Crickets and Social Media Coordinator for Oyster River Pages. Their first full-length poetry collection is forth-coming with Tolsun Books.