Series of Water

I.
drifting down the Bow
our bodies, barely graze
bristled hair, forearms
fingertips

II.
trout skim the riverbed
they like the shallows
getting suntanned
shiny, luminous scales
for the summer

III.
Philomena says the water burns her skin
and when she cries, her cheeks blister and rift
tears
skin, blood and pus
drippings
but she’s at the riverbank, languishing on the shoreline
legs dipping in and out of the mouth
froth, fill the spaces
between bone and muscle
until there is nothing but bubbles

IV.
Olivier builds a boat out of odes and nods
odd dreams he’s had of lives not lived
tempting whims to sail away
showing like cured fat on the pads of his hands

he keeps a book beneath his pillow
where he says he will go to next
his boat is
a poetry of papier mache words, sporadic amalgamations glued together like a schizophrenic’s wallpaper
layered and layered and layered and layered and layered and layered and layered and layered and layered and layered and layered and layered and

he’ll get out of here if he keeps asking, he thinks
his words will carry him down the river flows
and into a new adventure,
but it’s something he must learn:
origami is only decorative

fuck

I want you
not because I love you
take me down
and fuck me good
even if you’re mediocre at best
because I need a body pillow
a hug here or there
I’m a lonely fuck

Heartbroken by Choice

I thought it would be easy to get over you
after all, I’ve already been over you forever
but forever is easily trumped by a moment
when you call me to say,
I know
it’s okay
let’s just talk

Like a dunce I sit on my bed
too stunned to say a word
eek out a breath instead

And here I am, a couple of days
after our crash collision
in me, a series of tears, straightened lines
straining loss from want
you back, just to say,
living without you

the phone sits by my bed
I keep thinking you’ll call
tell me you’ll kiss me goodnight
and tuck my toes in, when I get cold
where will we go tomorrow
when you hold my hand
and what

Why did I only care about you
after you were gone?

A friend asks if I would hook up with him if I had the chance
what an opportunity
to swim in the ocean
and bite the bait

blood in the mouth
I eat longing looks, touches here and there
until there’s nothing left but bone

Inadequate

It’s not a race
nor a competition
I am not her and she is not me
and yet
who is that voice in my ear
who speaks so surely, who knows me so well
who says, you leave her in the dust
even if she is your one true friend
It is me, muttering into the steam
a shower to peel away my sweat
right to the bone
I am still worth something
even in comparison

Dreaming

Neocitran, raspberry red and glossy sheened
I try to drink it hot
to scald my throat, to kill the germs
that make me sick

But in the process, I imagine
my body moving through the walls
knocking on drywall, peeling plaster
Bent bones that crack out of place
the friction of joints
I haunt this mangled frame

Something is very wrong
but I don’t know what

Thinking

Petrichor reminds me of a memory half composed,
half written like an amalgamation of lives never lived
the diary of a teenage girl
dreaming her way out

There’s a flutter in my chest and I am split into two
a me who sits on a train and watches the rain
pouring down onto the platform steps
and me here, in the office
feeling the pain of a silent conversation
between the desks and the chairs
the overhead lights that flicker
with no one here

Am I imagining that I was there?
Do I group together things to make thoughts
that never happened

My heart drops. A sudden sense of impending doom.
I am lackluster today
caught up in distractions.

Favourite gal pal

I’m unhinged
an orange peel
dangling from the pulp
my eye shuttering
unable to close

something happened yesterday
it took me by surprise
it shook my shoulders
it gnarled its teeth
it said, “you’re not getting out of here alive.”

I laughed and replied,
“who says I’m leaving?”

‘Cause here is a permanent state
governed by this cruel mistress
distressed by best intentions
a thesis written in blood
I cut my territory from the flesh
and barricade my insides
barbarians beware,
I leave out my emotions
like heads on a skewer
come too close and I’ll cut you too
this ain’t no warning
but a premonition of
the next five minutes

There’s a bruise on my leg, bigger than my hand
from when I slipped and fell off the deck
down the stairs and onto the pavement
I called an Uber to get to your defense
and hid in the back of the room, to avoid your gaze
you came over to thank me, I think
I murmured, “Sorry I fell. I’m disoriented black and blue”
you touched my arm, to tell me it was okay

after your defense there was the afterparty
and your peachy girlfriend, blushing pink
shy and demure spoke so softly
how could I hate her
you seemed ill matched
but regardless, you missed me to sail past me
without so much as a glance

I can’t stop thinking about you and how you consume my thoughts
you are hungry, starving
pointing me in every direction but one
a line to the heart, more like a bisection
uneven and bloody

Call Me

“I heard your voice,” mom says,
“in the stillness of the house
in its rafters and floorboards, the wood rot
and mildew
I woke from my nap on the living room couch
to your fleeting whisper
interwoven in the white walls like Adam’s ribs
it’s empty here without you
so I called to see if you were okay.
it’s not important anyway though.
I’ll let you go if you’re busy.
Just wanted to know if you’re alright.
It’s good to hear you’re well.
Don’t be a stranger, I love you so.”

The short call glides through the airwaves
as I walk home in a daze.
An apparition, a voice, the threads of vocal cords
are a seismograph
and I, the pen move unwillingly.