High School Boys and Lunch Hour

Da na na, na na na. Neeeeooooo.

The lunchbox – green – is on the desk. Just a bit off-centre. They’re focused on the lunchbox and most pairs of arms are crossed over chests. White shirt, white shirt, blue shirt, red shirt, grey shirt, black shirt, in a ring around the desk in the back corner. Chatter from the rest of the classroom bounces off their backs and fades as they stare.

Rob: running his palm tight down the side of his head, shhhckk, “Well, you’ve gotta open it.”

All eyes on Yves, who swallows hard. Kou unfolds his arms and one hand goes to the windowsill in preparation. Yves tries to think of something to say, but they are all watching him gravely. His shoulders droop and he nods.

He steps forward. They shuffle to cover the gap he leaves in their circle. He reaches out slowly to touch, just touch, the lid, and they all wince.

Eshwar: “Three weeks?”

Yves: barely above a whisper, “More than that.”

Terrence: “Geez.”

Yves: “Maybe we should just throw it –”

But they’re all caught up in sick fascination, and Yves shuts himself up.

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The Scent of the Rose

Drifting on the wildborne

The scent of the rose, that calls me

I remember – it is a lovely day to be lonely

Going as I, going, must

Imagine flowers in your eyes

And crowns in your sleep

But for the scent of the rose, that calls me

I would be tumbling in sunshowers

Breathing wheat-warm breath

But drifting on the wildborne

I remember – it is a lovely day to be lonely

Elizabeth Cook, 2015

Image from Annie’s Garden


When she turns on point she sets

My nerves alight and singing

Ice over skin, strings over frets

Turning, chilling, plucking

Straight down into my inner dark

Where she is heedless and fierce

Holding over my wanting heart

The ancient mother we share

She turns on point and the skins

Stretched under her feet shiver

Fabric of the world laid thin

For her to know and I to offer

And folding me, she constricts

The light into rings about her

Hers the ripe primeval kiss

To pull from bones their shimmer