ThreeWhen parts of you receded I began to chew in threes. I lit candles, bound books filled with housing, burned them in a pile and filmed it. I would grab the white-hot tines with my uncalloused hands, feign a rancid vision and vision myself blessed. More vigorous than ever, I’d pull the curtains back and weep. Add splinters. Add plastic. Add clumps of ash and heat.
Parts of you receded. Parts of me were caught up in the lees. Hawking popcorn tins filled with scraps of ragged denim, bones from flightless birds. Out of all these tiny fragments, I cobbled up some plan. In a small house on a small street, I had hands that tapped reserves of yellow dye. I had a photograph of gophers and I swallowed it. Felt shrill and often evil, far from home without a friend.
I set out to make a palace. I brought forth a kitsch. I made lists, lazed at broken harps. Desperate for a genre or for something to belong to. Perhaps I belonged to you but your hands would always sweat. Then came the first blue light through my window, right where I had left it all along. Every surface had an appetite, and in the glow I stacked a shoddy stack. The sun came slow or maybe bloody. What was left I sold for cheap.
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy
Cecilia Stuart’s first chapbook Mudroom, a collaborative project with photography by Adrian Kiva, was published by Anchorage Press in 2018. Her poems have appeared in PRISM international, The Antigonish Review, Plenitude and elsewhere. She lives in Toronto.
To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at at rob_mclennan (at) hotmail.com or the PayPal button at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com