Sonia Di Placido
Must we sift in wet to dry sand skins?
your feathered grains, you flap, I translate
your gawk to my words, I silent, listen
call out our parody of place, hungry for salt
Dunes under wet towels
I am pinked by the mid-day sun
Do you have an answer for me, Huron?
We name this bird lake gull, say
an unsound migrant word among
the other languages of my tongue
la mouette, il gabbiano—what are these
names? How do they belong to shorebirds?
forget north or south Sauble, forget
the where of some singularity of being
it does not speak to this ground, our waters
What am I here? I ask my self
Gull, I am asking you
together, you and I are asking
Us lingering, once again, watching
ashore into life—
The thousand motions of your wings,
the thousand years of glacial melt to strand
We are not friends
this is not your name: Seagull.
*Gayaashk: Ojibwe transl. Seagull. Source: https://ojibwe.lib.umn.edu/main-entry/gayaashk-na
The Lunch Pail
Sitting right where you left it
waiting amongst our shoes
your lunch pail
all folded metal and rivets
cold to the touch, dented
Your name carved into metal
like markings in a cave.
What secrets this magic box must hold.
Like where you go.
Like what you do.
I slip my fingers through the handle
and it squeaks and clanks like the front gate.
I shouldn’t be touching it.
I know I’m not allowed,
but the hard steel frame calls to me.
I put my thumbs to the latches
and push with all my might.
They snap back, cracking like falling rock
and my hands retreat to my chest.
“These damn things never work.”
I hear you say these words
all the time.
I turn the lid over
to a sound like grinding gravel.
I slide my fingers along the rough edges
and flinch as a turned up
rivet catches the soft flesh.
I raise my finger to my mouth and
taste the iron in my blood.
In the box, an old paperback
white owl cigars
a jack knife
I add my favourite marble
in the corner and try to close
the lid but the latches won’t snap back.
“These damn things never work.”
I hear myself say for the first time.
From Slagflower; Poems Unearthed from A Mining Town. Copyright © 2019 by Thomas Leduc. Use with the permission of Latitude 46 Publishing (www.latitude46publishing.com)
from Gold Pours
why do you pull away from me when I’m inside you?
coming together with you
is like having all the women you have hurt prior to me
the lies they believed
the stories you tell your friends
the fake laughs you shared
you are in love
with the idea of hurting a woman
more than the idea of you giving her pleasure
yet here I am
Excerpted from Gold Pours (Fall 2021). Copyright © 2021 by Aurore Gatwenzi. Use with the permission of Latitude 46 Publishing (www.latitude46publishing.com)
Ways of seeing
by Degan Davis and Jessica Moore
To move beyond yourself
begin with unfamiliar shapes.
See the face of the stranger walking toward you
as though they are a part of you,
a lost part, a beloved part,
which tumbled off the red wagon
or the back of the bike.
Not so much collecting people as
holding them for a moment
(as if to say “how?”)
and then letting them go,
rhizomic on the road. Light
There has to be a way to love
what seems linear
the eerie slicing beauty
of clock strokes, the whole glorious
Turn toward the mountain –
you made it
you make it
and it unmakes you.
Qualicum Beach, 1982
Nathaniel G. Moore
To her body the ocean felt like molded plastic cold while
the whitecaps proved nothing more than a foamy afterthought
above the ocean’s wild curves seven photographers swarm
spot where she once sat pyretic dreaming of old songs, staring
at bedroom wall dents from yearbook hissy fits, skipping
over the gloom deluge of faces snarling like a one-way mirror
makes you feel criminal, a blight on the glass, as each face sticks
funeral-ready eyes sandy yes tingling skin no more someone hears
her in quarantine in need of another voice a warmth of amphetamines
colours her dulls dampens donuts christening a beach with laughter
she dream kissed the morning on the neck an open face sculpted in eros
last time corrupted by wet memory an oily portrait hinting at her
to sleep dead sun set in her back pocket polluted space between speech
silence bodies warmed by windowsill sun milking