i go to the canal because there are bridges wherever i end up. i can’t sit here without being near one.

i was a little girl once and when i was one i never imagined it might be so easy to return to these bridges, to find my way home by the lamp posts. there weren’t any lamps back then and the walk was more jagged, confusing. where nothing amounted to anything, now everything does and it has for a year (a very good, long year).

if i were pretty enough to be model it isn’t difficult: i’d be a model. there would have been a bridge or at least a walkway bathed in gentle light. instead i was underneath the rest of everything, dipping between tires expecting them to bloom into bursts of rubber. and now i’m not. it isn’t difficult.

i also come because there are ducks and planes overhead and for all the noise there is solitude and silence. it would have been easy to have been young and to have imagined writing on a phone, if i could have dreamt of a world without paper lamps and notebooks. but that never occured to me then. the ducks and the planes remind me of the minnows and the sound of the highway. the sound of kids laughing across the canal isn’t anything except four-door family cars slowing for the stoplights at the corner, softer and still somehow less comforting than transport trucks and buses, the cars that really carry something.


draw signs in
garbage only, traced
beneath the pulse
of electricity, lift bridges
next to smokestacks,
where we lived and used
to search beyond
the smog across the lake, to
see toronto

it was a long drive and
coming promise
to bring us to the
fridge, unplugged and saving
dinner, to the red
and swelling barges as
they plundered
past the window


i’m going to miss the sounds of the traffic. all the wheels always moving, not hesitating, not braking, not here. when i was just learning about myself and my skin and the capabilities of my small mind i used to sit under the highway in a tunnel that was meant for carrying water, the excess rain water so it couldn’t pool in the streets and cause hydroplaning and deaths and other accidents. it was calm and quieter than home. this room is like that, it’s the first in a long time and i am anxious and upset over saying goodbye to it.

there are only imprints now, and everything fits onto a single scrap of paper that hid itself somewhere around here. i don’t know if i will remember by morning because i never do, but everything is here, always, surrounding. just in case. i take deep breaths and smile before i fall asleep.