smaller.

if there were a choice i’d be scarred
and unpretty, you could
not hold it against me that i
wear mascara

we broke it off on the porch in
mid-august, over raccoon eyes, my
pigtails, that i’d been drinking beer
with my friends,
my oversized sweatshirt,
my lack of a bra

you smudge eyeliner off with the
back of your hand, play
finders keepers with
me even
now

i guess i am smaller than
you are in more ways than one

for ottawa.

your strongest part is
your autumn

frail dust from stale heat penetrates
asphalt, winter sets in

a cloak like a hard wall on
bay street, your arms like chain
fences holding in dogs without leashes

this is the top
of a hill that i
never wanted to climb

he says my sunsets are
beautiful. he doesn’t know how they

crash behind flat-roofed apartments,
die with the city before it gets dark

smother.

napowrimo #4

I.

we are face to face in the
elevator. weird, because no one
stands face to face in an elevator.

in another you held
my son, kissing his face, i
was kissing your face. now we
can’t speak. the words are
unholy, and besides,
they’re not there.

II.

sheer fabrics do more than let in the
light. we hang curtains, i pick
patterns for bed skirts,
you pay at the
register.

III.

you press every button
to keep me. the fabrics,
you say, can smother us too.

hockey.

as grateful as i am that i have not
received a paper cut in these two
years, that
cautionary slice, i am that hockey
season’s over, and with it

that pale memory of yellow living
rooms, the walls the shade of
bags in hospitals, of trails left
by dying snails
and grey shadows of the sounds
of one last game on the TV cast into your eyes,

your eyes i couldn’t see through my
closed eyelids, your eyes i felt
once in a while, while we hid
that we were
holding hands beneath my sweater.
you trailed me home and kissed my
hair,

the part of me already dead.

warm.

it’s so warm in the
centre, the dark,
of night that each strand
of my hair feels wet
against my
neck

a follicle his mouth
pretended not to taste,
and sharply, like
a spoon you snapped
in half, dropped for
jagged edges, the
morning folds around
my shoulders and
is cold