North by Ashley Loper

Photography by Maria Kazvan | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Flickr


He tells me he wants to see Alaska.

Later, when his body is ravaged by mosquitos 

I make salves of beeswax and spruce pitch,

later still, when snow carries the weight of its own being

I explain that in this country

warmth is a luxury. It has to be earned.

He does not want this Alaska
but this is the only Alaska I know.

The ice on the river is the thickest it’s been in years.
Meanwhile, his blue hands, my red thighs.

This heart ringed by frostbite.

Ashley Loper

A fan of dark fruits, dark chocolate, and dark, rainy days, Ashley Loper started birthing poetry like gentle rabbits out of her body at a young age. Her poems draw inspiration from the natural world, the human condition, and all the equal measures of brutality and softness that exist in between. What she lacks in logic, she often makes up for in parable. You can find her literary best friends at