unplugged

relent
fade to black

into the beleaguered night
wearing gumboots and sweaters

allowing for now only
stillness and nothing but

my starved retinas, I
listen to your breathing

just you and me and our lungs
heaving the weight of air

each inhale a promise
all the way to dawn

and the first birdsong
from inside the virgin

forest, earth music calling
we are connected, we are

then a dry twig snapping
is the fear I’ve been dying for

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Sailing is Good for Art

(for Tom)

his charts are for escaping
burned out drug days tripping
at eighty clicks an hour, until
the crash and flames and now
his good arm pushes landscapes

onto canvas his brush the speeding
fast into colourful curves and only held in
by skin meridian even though whittled
down to bone with scars the shade of sepia
written on his body the way tree trunks
close around their wounds and his spruce tops
are bristles soaked in green painting up the sky

his spared body parts are comets shooting off
in all directions there’s no going back
from all that forward motion
the best times will divide the journey
right down the middle

We’ll Eat Here

How about Beef Bourguignon so rich you could use it
to anoint your body. Buttery Béarnaise drizzled
on precious lobster or clams simmered in white wine,
their shells open like prayers, heavenly steam
rising with the sighs of angels. Give us unctuous glorious
fats. Red wine and garlic anything. Basil is our favourite
companion herb. Crush it between our fingers
to release its friendly fragrance. If you test and retest
their recipes, five out of four judges may admit that we’re
teetering on food insecurity, chronic harvest failure,
better stock up on non-perishables, milk for building bones
is the biggest lie of all. Withholding information is what sinks
societies. Some of us are taking it personally, protesting
with Chlorella which cleans the blood, helps the liver
detoxify. Alfalfa scavenges for free radicals. Norwegian
kelp leaches mercury from the heart. Some of us don’t believe
the only supplements we need are daily. Me, I try to eat
less, be heart smart, reduce my blood pressure, for a time
in the future when I won’t be wanting so much. I worry
the psylium husks aren’t bulking up in the right density
to sweep my colon clean and I heard you should keep a pair
of chopsticks by the toilet for poking around in your stool,
it’s more dangerous out there than we know.

Guantanamo

**In honour of the release of Omar Khadr, a 15-year-old translator-turned-soldier who was held for over a decade in the gulag otherwise known as Gitmo, and in honour of the documentary about his experience being aired on CBC Thursday, May 28, 2015**

Guantanamo

in the spring
when the air was sprayed red
at the Hotel Misty on the shoreline
on the edge of Guantanamo Bay

raccoons were calling themselves family
inspired by neon lights while
the Stumps played Muskrat Love
and Daisy spun in her polka dot skirt
her lips plump as mushrooms
and heart without purchase
at the Hotel Misty on the shoreline
on the edge of Guantanamo Bay
when raccoons were calling themselves
family inspired by Japanese lanterns
and the clock struck twelve darkness
descended no mere absence
of light while Daisy spun slowly
in her polka dot skirt, Major General
her partner The Stumps playing
the final refrain of Muskrat
Love at the Hotel
Misty on the shoreline
on the edge
of Guantanamo Bay

when the air was sprayed
red
it’s not what anyone wanted
the military calling us family
and the guns lying
next to the camera

I Want A Body

that’s rare and juicy
as a T-bone run though
a hot, hot kitchen

I want a body that’s lean
and bendable as Gumby
with perky breasts
in a greener shade or maybe
I want a body like a jaguar
XLS
or one like Kidman’s, all bone
china with delicate blue veins
beneath translucent skin

my body wears an arrow
on its head and dies laughing,
looks like it was dug up
from an ancient burial site
modeled on an earth
goddess from Mesopotamia
with hips that could
swallow an entire village

Attachment Theories

You have been teaching me how to disappear for such a long time. Friday nights at first, then weekends, then that entire summer when you flew to Pamplona for the running of the bulls. I was twelve, took care of your other offspring. There are so many ways to cook oatmeal—

Then the following years, when you conjured threats, later the delusions that eventually held you captive, when you sold the house and spent the profit on ounce bottles of perfume and Channel scarves, little luxuries befitting a millionaire’s ex-wife. Only there was no millionaire and soon you were homeless—

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