(For mobile devices, this poem is best read in orientation / landscape screen mode.)
I put something down, you pick it up. I write the
letter e and you pick it up. You go on waiting,
waiting. I draw a barrier around myself. Close
enough for you to graze your cheek.
There’s a barrier around the mess that we ascribe to
e. There are the coldest days we shared on the same
street. With my giant wings I drew a picture of a
limousine—on the back I wrote your name in blue. I
flew home and maybe you forgot to ask me how it
I set an item on the ground. You orchestrate no
vacancy. You ask me for a brush. Why would I have
a brush. Why would I have a pipe. Why would I be
elastic or bruised living in this new and gorgeous
city. Things begin to topple from my shelves. Instead
of catching them, I sit very still.
Somewhere I wring my hands and miles away
another woman does the same. Another woman
writes another e. I arrange my quiver, I propose a
toast to outer space. What a fuss ensues. What a
ruckus it creates. I draw my bowstring and recoil.
Why would I have a target. Why would I pick a fight.
Cecilia Stuart’s work has been published in PRISM international, Bad Dog, The Antigonish Review, The Temz Review, and elsewhere. Her chapbook Mudroom (a collaborative work with photography by Adrian Kiva) was published by Anchorage Press in 2018. She lives in Halifax.