cross street.

napowrimo #29

like shadows of photographs
still developing, or an
ultrasound, we
wait, we

pick apart
scrapped pieces of
ourselves, much
like our dinner, and

designate: a
part is mine, a part is yours

[the second in a row, and i guess a part of some kind of series i started without knowing it, about home, and places that meant something but are now just something i remember.]


napowrimo #2

up too late in a one
room apartment, you flick
dying skin and bite for my veins,

your toenails
digging lines into my
hardwood floors. you ask
me to imagine being swept
up by sand, our linked fingers
torn, our throats filling. i tell you
no and
our pupils contract.

mine, yours.
we do not fall
asleep by the light of the lamp.

home (alone).

since my boyfriend started this thing where he flies across the country for a week at a time for work, i’ve started this thing where i’m scared of my own shadow. not sure why. of course i’ve lived on my own before, and that was in a sketchy area in an apartment with big windows on the ground floor.

now the furnace comes on in the still quiet of the evening and i jump in my own skin. i try to focus on netflix or the courses i’m taking for work or books or pepsi or the sound of my own feet on the squeaky, century-old floors. i try to not see silhouettes of strangers in my backyard through the reflections of light in the double panes of glass.

i thought i’d be lonely or bored; i’m not. the last thing i thought was that i’d become scared to be raped or murdered in the place i love most, my own home.


in a memory, i didn’t live here yet. i was pregnant and i was single and i had a terrible wardrobe. i was in love with two boys and i couldn’t bring either of them with me (if i had wanted to). i was about to give up my car, my driver’s license, my job, my friends, my life. i needed to schedule an abortion. i drank tim horton’s instead of starbucks. i depended entirely on six packs & cigarettes.

i got lost. i drove right past what i now consider my favourite place, my go-to place. i turned around at the stadium, recognizing the structure from a photograph. i made my way. and then i met you. somehow, even in a memory, i met you.

and in a memory, i worked 10 hour shifts in a basement. i dyed my hair blonde, then dark brown. i broke my phone and lost all my phone numbers and assumed a new identity. i remembered you. i went blonde again. i moved into a new apartment with hardwood floors. i played house and did the dishes and the apartment burned down. i moved again and i remembered you. i had roommates and i fell hard, incredibly in love with white wine. and i eventually tore down the life i had created and moved into a new room.

that is when i let you in, asked you in. let memories fold over realities, let the lines blur. i tried and tried to keep remembering but the only you i see is in a classroom, spilling water on the floor.

i’m sure that things have been worse before. much worse. if i remember correctly. but these are only memories; i might have made them up.

king & james.

today i’m seeing the world completely differently, and not in the way that you think. you don’t know what you’re talking about. it’s not that way at all. it’s like i haven’t slept in weeks, my brain being like a drained sponge resting heavy in the back of its cavity, a dirty lump. i feel sketched out, is what it is. i feel like i’m coming off one hell of a pill-binge, right fucked you know, right right, sixteen hours of pure raging madness, lights and colour. i can’t eat, can’t taste, can’t smoke, can’t see. my skin doesn’t even stop crawling when i look down at it. bare arms, too cold. i see dirt that isn’t even there, you know, just old familiar film that can’t be peeled away, disposed of. moving always, muddy clouds across the surface, bit by bit. i’m right fucked up and i couldn’t tell you why.

this one time, when i was eighteen and she was just pushing the borders of sixteen and we were still such little girls, right, we were high for eleven hours in the dismal smoky disaster that we sometimes tried to pass off as our dining room. at ten-thirty in the morning i put on a pair of jeans and the striped shirt with the red neckline that back then i wore almost every day. pen and notebook and, still totally fucked out of my head, i bussed down to j-square with richard and kim and justin. this was when i was still seeing richard, maybe i think, and kim and justin wore studded leather jackets and clingy jeans and bullet belts and it was all kind of the way it’s wrapping up right now, you know, strung out. alone in the whole world, watching everything with my mouth stuck hanging open, eyes steadily scratched by every living thing instead of corners.

you reach a point when you just stop caring i guess. when what the world sees isn’t really what’s there at all. everyone thinks they really know me, you know, they have a good idea at least but no one does. i’m only myself when i’m in bed, my bed, his bed, someone else’s bed, or when i’m writing. i foresee, once these recorded thoughts begin to leak a little more, or once a moment in a bed is the undoing moment, i foresee a lonely fucking future.

spring 2008.


it’s only august but i can feel fall coming through the windows. sweaters hang off the ends of my arms on walks home from work, and it’s already dark when we lock up the office. it never lasts long enough. even when there’s still all the time in the world it never feels like it’s enough. part of me knows that it’s boredom, anxiety and excitement for my fourth and final year of school, carleton sweaters with kristina and a graduation at the end. i’m anxious for time to speed up and pick away at me, i wait for it here on the other side of the bedroom window. the air doesn’t come through on its own. i want everything, and i want to do nothing to get it, and there are things i want that i’m beginning to think that i shouldn’t try for. i need to put in more hours while i can and still try and force myself into a strictly part-time routine. i need to focus on me and on school, and on finishing, and not devote every waking second to coffee pots and filing cabinets and cleaning up the client rooms. every year i tell myself the same thing and every year i wind up in the same place, never where i thought i would. i’ve quit classes for jobs in less than heartbeats, how when i was younger i’d quit jobs for boys and boys for their friends and sometimes it just boils down to the fact that my impulses have bred spontaneous dedication. i can’t slow down and i can’t quit anymore. i’ve committed myself more fully to everything this past year than i have ever done in my entire life. everything and, maybe more importantly, everyone. and fall is coming. i feel like it’s coming to take over, take charge. and i’m hoping it doesn’t damage those commitments. i hope it doesn’t take away what i’ve worked so damn hard to keep.