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Serena Alagappan

Prayer Peaks

Frost at high altitudes reaps snow stuck so tight flakes look like bones,

or like pilgrims stooped in worship, when their chins grind

their sternums and their eyes humor only sporadic peeks skyward.




Penitentes get their name here, from the converts who, inconsolable,

buckle from their feet. The jagged promise made by crowding

glacial blades might likewise move you to your knees.




Spires under a night sky, glinting like the stars that stake their claim in

darkness, still won’t melt when licked by sun if they’re high enough. Elderly

icicles, reversed in their rising, stand fifty feet tall on a satellite of Jupiter.




These frigid mountain vanes are a just a few hundred million miles

away. They live close too: in me and you, sensitive to temperature,

frozen in numb rupture.

Headshot_Alagappan - Serena Alagappan.heic



Serena Alagappan is currently studying World Literatures in English at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and working as Poetry Editor for the Mays Anthology. Her poems have appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, the Colorado Review, West Trade Review, and elsewhere.

Bear Review


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