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a morning in toronto


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anymore


as each dream and potential withers
while the resentment for my company surfaces
impatience mixed with boredom mixed with loneliness mixed with ego and lack of

my laughable fort of pillows rise
each a warm body kissing and
holding each curve

corners torn with my teeth
pressed with salt and oil
the release of sleep and lucid dreaming

i don’t even love you anymore

ankles


she takes my exclamations as confirmations
when really i’m shocked at her bitterness
calling out pretty sloots and the yacht club girls
tossing her beautiful hair

carrying a bundle of measuring sticks
slipping in small lies
she charms snakes and demons
who curl up her skinny legs

i’m just there to hold her hand
a social crutch, teetering on shoes
trying to suck in my belly
staring at her beautiful hair

my own bitterness holds my mouth
keeps my eyes slanted down up out
as their eyes follow her and i’m
squeezing her hand

just lazy


Waking up takes hours. Nestling into my fort of pillows and feeling the warm linen threads catch on my toes. The sun catches all the whites of my room, inviting me to open my eyes. I smash my face, flat into my pillow, breathing in the stale oils. Last night’s intentions of breakfast and coordinated outfits dissipate with each snooze.

The curtains absorb the sunlight and sounds of the other women tinkering with their drawers and hair dryers. Seven and a half pounds of fluff prances around on my back, digging her nose into my armpits and crawling into the warm space between the sheets.

After rearranging my bed-head, I leave for work wearing summer on the bottom, Christmas on top. Lunch will be a half pound of guacamole. Maybe I’ll pick up chips over lunch break.

Once, my church had a special event for women. They flew in a fashion designer who held signups for a reality television style makeover at the end of her first talk. My sisters and cousins pushed me into the huge lineup that wrapped around the TV set. She asked me what my main struggle was:

“I’m 23, but I look like I’m 33.”

“That’s a new one.”

She ended up picking two ladies transported by time machines from decades past, and costumed them in hair dyes and contact lenses. Her message for the night:

“There’s no such thing as an ugly woman. Just a lazy one.”

Aw, shit.

sham


Finding the strength and fibre to fill
My gaping heart that stings from the wind
Consciousness sparking and spurring
Magnetic surges for the positive to my negative

Teeth hitting cement and cracked split
My mouth is falling apart
Falling to the wind
Thin and salty strokes across my chin

Eyes obedient and steady
But my face flushes drunk betrayal
Speech even and predictable
But my fingers knot in my pockets

I break free propelled by force
To an easy space to an easy crowd
Eyes on the walls look past me
Eyes behind me burn my neck

Weight across my shoulders pulls me close
Suddenly the wind howls through my chest
Disjointed hopes scream across
Your eyes and mine

foolish


the shame of untamed children
stains on the carpet
unruly heart, please stop

impatience running high
too quick to speak
strings taut across my chest
my cheeks swell taste sweet

your cat smile
removed, amused, denying
three nights live in your breath
and I’m dying

too long


Taking out my earrings now
Welts rise up from their weight
Taking off my heels now
Easing my blisters and back pains

Thought I’d be with you now
Was waiting for some bait
Something to grab onto
To save my face

Rubbing off my makeup now
Into my sheets
My pillows between my legs
Between my teeth

a cold night


the smell of her apartment makes me hungry
my eyes skitter past the dishes
fermenting and fragrant
the lights flicker and fail
as we eat in the darkness
her leg shivers and shakes

wonderous


i break from the steely eyes
you hide beneath that “wonderous” smile
she takes me away from your warm chin
i can still feel on my shoulder
finding the knots
giving away the tension

we’re children hiding in adults
playing house, playing us
while i begin to get lost
holding onto my swelling heart as i turn away
from you, touching instead
curtains shifting the light

we move around each other carefully
dreams in our hair, voices still waking
as our thoughts are put to bed for the day
wrapping ourselves up separately
colder, for it
our breath, smoke and steam

suppressing chewing our lips
words dance to death in our mouths
holding back from staining
so that i can come back
to warm your gaze and smile with you
more wonderous smiles with you

pretty stones


The stone in her hand was cold.
I pried off her papery fingers to steal it from her.
The leaves shook a little – enough to stir the air around me.
I smelled dampness and earth, imagining worms and the warmth of decay.

Tucking the stone into my heart,
I ran from this earth.
Prancing into space,
Among the stars who admired my stone.

As the stone grew heavy,
I began to sink.
Away from the stars who were afraid.
Back to earth smaller now

My heart wrapped itself tighter around the piece of rock,
Muscling and flexing.
The pain in my chest pulsated to my fingers
To my toes, gathering in my joints.

My nails couldn’t find the stone
Deep in my heart, hidden.
Frantic, I clawed away at the cage around it
Ripping my heart out in the end.