Paper lands


In falling out of seasons and stars

The embers’ creep unfurrrowing charts

From fingers’ width to leagues unbound

Stone, wood and sea in all their parts

Vistas each moment by ash remarked

Wings arising to crumble

Thence gone afar

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The things we half forget


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For all the days we left behind, which somehow turned to years

Before we knew autumn’s second meaning

Or saw pages thin to sheer

We will have other summers, yet more like other lives

Child-selves running through pictures

Of lost-remembered ties

~

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Sleepless


Dark the curtains when dark the night

‘Gainst shards of fire from moonside skies

Fear turning upon the flick of a light

The whisper of water

A child’s cries

Granville Island Winter Ale


The bar is all cement floors, its patio wood-paneled. But they are inside at the moment, and this place with its faux-American name is playing swing music, or music that you can swing to, she does not know the difference.

He is French, slim like her, and the crown of his head but an inch or two above her own, always in chinos and hand-stitched shoes. She has never properly danced with someone before, outside the grinding of high school and clubs. But old books had her convinced that this must be fun; when he asks her she leaps at the chance, and she is not disappointed.

She finds that she can follow him and he has no compunctions about how close they should be.

At the table, earlier, newly-minted friends testing each other’s waters over chocolate-coloured pints, someone had asked her if she was in love with her absent boyfriend. Several faces turned to look at her and they were intimate, serious; it was her turn to share. She certainly loved her boyfriend, but with the intensity behind that question, the turn of the voice on in and the sense of being measured for all time, how could she know for sure at a mere 22 years of age? How could she match the nakedness of that question? Why were they asking her such a thing?

She was nonplussed, embarrassed, tipsy. Unwilling to lie. She wanted to get to know them and she answered with what first came to mind.

It is only as she is dancing with her classmate, their frames matching, movement becoming delight becoming laughter, that she realizes honesty can amount to disloyalty.

And it is much, much later before she realizes that her boyfriend, who proves indifferent to her love of dancing, is the sort who does not like his girlfriend to dance with anyone else, even if he has no intention of dancing with her.