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day 17she dreams of the pink swing set under a canopy
of leaves, shoes brushing colours of autumn
of mud slicked steps, rusted spoons and clear
plastic forks turned opaque from grimy hands
of lard-filled jars and broken glass,
glittering teeth hidden beneath tree shadows
of scratchy hay poking ankles and, below, sharp
metal just peeking through faded itchy yellow:
day 3you said: there is just
something about myths.
i thought there's just
something about your lips.
tell me the myths of
your sleepy hometown
and the truths of hands
held proud in public.
i'd like to learn the
stories of your skin,
the loud silence of
heartbeats and bed sheets.
you don't sit beside me in class anymoreyou look like oversized sweaters waiting for
mr darcy vapid vanilla shows up late to
class with coffee cheeks flushed from cold
(but there's more than meets the eye. i like
the flush of your cheeks and last week i
wondered if you bite lips or lick them; if
you'd change my mind on holding hands)
gone is your floral perfume soft breathing
arm brushing mine proximity pulsing legs
crossing blurry profile in peripheral
(but now i almost like it better this way. it's
easier to follow concentration as it moves
along your features and i have always been
more comfortable with distance anyway)
lost in space1
there were words once, listen:
quiet, soft, like fingers brushing over the fabric of a sweater, tickling your ear, warming, small gusts of heat that spread to your toes, a glinting eye, a curved mouth, a promise.
there were words once, listen:
hard, rough, like metal scraping over concrete, bruising, marking your arms, legs, ribs, even your spine, purple and black blossoming on dark skin, yellowing until silence, an apology.
there were words once, listen:
now there are no words, only the deafening roar of silence.
there are words now, listen:
the old stars whisper to each other. they have discovered the secret of patience, a conversation lasting the ages. a single word may take years upon years to travel and you have to know which way to send it. careful, precise, or you may tell a stranger you miss them.
you can hear the sound of these words, like fast cars on a track, restless and enduring. the faster they travel, the slower time moves, slowing rapidly until it sto
sharp nailsthere is a pattern of
veins on my right thigh
that looks like the long,
blue bones of a hand
sometimes these thin,
spindly fingers crawl
up my veins and
arteries to clasp around
my heart, tug on the
back of my eyes,
dotting and blacking
they scrape the nervous
system and i think i
used to pray to settle
from 3429 ft.two years ago from paris, saskatoon looked like a small solar system, hazy with rain and cold. three days ago from toronto, it is midday and foggy, a thick blanket of grey masking tiny grey buildings cut by a tiny grey river. but the feeling is the same and i want to reach across the aisle to hold my sister's hand much the same as two years ago, russell reaching for my hand, any hand, two changed souls unprepared to face the sameness of home.
but the feeling is not the same. we are not two changed souls: we are just happy ones, 'satisfied with the trip' ones, and i do not hold hands when i am happy.
may 3i press tissue paper to the skin
above my ankle, apply pressure,
try not to think about the red and
searing and the itch in my hand.
i decide i want to cover my body in
ink, beautiful and expensive.
my grandmother asks me why i
want a tattoo.
i tell her, "i think they're
five years of thinking pass.
birds fly across my wrist and i trap
beautiful and expensive.
reverberationshey skinny boy, you walk like you know where you're going
and when you kiss me, i don't know what to say
( and it sort of
reverberates between us, doesn't it? )
parenting 101when our children wake up screaming in the middle of the night
or crawl into our beds, we have a list of reassurances:
"it was just a nightmare" and
"it was just the shadows" and
"it was just your imagination"
until they, too, are desensitized and locked in a cage,
condition themselves to be blind and sane like the rest of us
MaskShe wears a mask like it’s nothing.
Sometimes I forget it was made by demons.
I forget there’s a person living behind it.
Raspy Hill"I don't quite feel like myself."
I haven't for a while now.
My mind seems displaced,
Like it's wandered too far away.
"I've been having strange dreams lately."
Images of strange creatures dance in my sleep.
I don't know them but I know they are malicious.
What do they want?
"But now you're here and I'll make you feel right at home."
My saviour, my protector.
You'll guard me from this evil.
"Welcome to Raspy Hill."
This is my hell.
And you'll join me.
I'll make sure of it.
"Enjoy your stay."
Roses and barbed wireThe beauty of the roses
Right there for me to see
So colorful and vibrant
A sight to behold
But I can't get any closer
A fence surrounds them
Keeping them safe
Keeping me away
Away from their colors
Away from their scent
Trapped in this grey world of mine
Behind the barbed wire fence
Where Lover's Dream DarklyFor it is not a fable; — that which bleeds..
And her soul may whisper obsidian,
— But I am the sea of Darkness she craves
O’ long I hath bathed in these ravenous winds,
Watching shadows weep across river’s dreary
Upon nightscapes that plunder our souls —
A bouquet of crimson shall enchant thy lips;
Where slowly we fade into requiem
Drink me naked in the abyss of hungry wolves
Among demons and insanity, I thrust and fall
Ravaged, eons of lust spill from mine eyes,
And behold the Forests sing of murder!
In a sombre kiss, we shall undress the skies
Time will yield to the treasures of melancholy
I covet thee, unto this blood-filled Moon
O’ thou art beautiful decay upon my skin,
A ghostly visage dripping wanton & darkly ..
We are Lover’s haunting deaths lullaby;
Assassins brooding in a bewailing fairy-tale
She is mystic poison; & elixir immortale
Seek you me, in the mystique of necromancy
For I am the dream of Serpents fea
Sweet darknessDarkness, my dear
Darkness, my element
With your cold embrace
And keep me hidden
Hiden from the world
Hidden from my past
You are my ally
You are my friend
The only one I can trust
Vanquish the light
And cast your shadow
All over this world
Bibliophilia --C.To all the books I haven't read:
I have become your bookshelf
of dusted titles and busted spines
with arms that are full of fantasy
and romance and a head full
of memoirs I haven't written,
their lexicon curling my tongue
around five dollar word-plays
just behind the sheaf of my teeth.
With definitions straight to the point
and description airy and lofted
a dictionary defenestrates pages
that whirl into the night, petal
papers gliding like elegant
prose in a blank journal.
There is no table of contents
to map your way; follow the veins
ink leaves in the margins of my palms
because the books I've read tell me
if they give you ruled paper,
write the other way;
you are someone else's collage,
all the worn sad evidence of humanity,
stirred and sorted by a poet
because good books,
like bad people,
don't give up all their secrets at once.
coming to termsThe first summer:
I felt bad for the bees that got squished under the
edges of the boxes and went through the
extractor; that came through the tanks floating to
the top of the barrels. I saw massacre in the bottom of the
capper, layers of wax and wings.
I scraped frames of drone bitterly, pacifying my
uneasy conscience by turning down Grandma's
offer of a scoop of honey in my tea on the
I continued to spare as many tiny lives as I could
but discovered that I set boxes down on angry
little bees without a twinge of remorse, perhaps
in revenge for stinging me when I was just
standing off to the side with my energy levels
When Brendan complained about how many
times he got stung, I reminded him, while
unflinchingly scratching away at young drones
about to hatch, that we were the thieves and
(I still didn't put honey in my tea, but I certainly
wouldn't have felt bad about it.)
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