The Rusty Toque | Issue 13 | Poetry | November 30, 2017
Instead of wealthy wealthy people
say comfortable quite comfortable they’re quite comfortable
to describe themselves and their silvering friends
who are building houses on the island. They may say well off
in lieu of wealthy in lieu of rich to distinguish themselves
in lieu of Reich from the nouveau.
I stack great blocks
of Great Value Cheese in my cart. I can’t taste the difference
between fort cheddar and mild cheddar. I know my cheeses
by how orange they are. Fort is oranger than (what rhymes with)
Instead of a plate and a potato peeler
breakfast at your place involves a cheese platter
and a Dutch cheese slicer. Three wedges of cheese
audition. To vote call 1-866-IDOLS-01. Sharp is an acquired
word for an acquired taste. ’Tis better than saying I like the one
that tastes like my childhood. I’m learning.
is more specialized than the No Frills cheese counter.
Note: une fromagerie but le fromage. I like pictures of cows
on my cheese. Know where I’m coming from? An island
in the middle of nowhere. Dwell hath commanded thee
by name to fill thy condo with uncomfortable Danish furniture.
There are two people at a table for six. Note: not two of us.
One and an other. I am the sharp colour of a grimace.
were skins By the sixth time
we met we. happened very quickly The progression to nekkid.
held the handle of the oven for balance While removing my socks
I. beheld me as you shed your clothes near the nightlight
in the hallway You. wouldn’t call it stripping I. didn’t I.
And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
In that order.
during the night
Daylight savings time ended. into end times We fell.
Where were you child when you oughta been prayin’
all on that day? Nina Simone was singing. the bedroom
We couldn’t say. ourselves with aprons of fig leaves
We covered. Who told thee that thou wast naked?
And God asked. me the woman You gave. the woman
me. I don’t mind that version. Oh look I screwed up.
call it a garden I wouldn’t. nothing floral was there. Sorry
that should be, Was nothing floral there. on my socks
Dressage horses leapt and trotted. messed up I. am
sorry Look I. have rushed to the same mistake I frequently.
a lonely life you led ∙ which follows which ∙ a lonely life
you left ∙ for me ∙ me for ∙ which precedes which ∙ a lonely life
you led a little life you lived a little life alone in a hallway
before me you lived
IAN WILLIAMS is the author of three books, including Personals, a finalist for the Griffin Prize. His first novel, Reproduction, is forthcoming from Random House. www.ianwilliams.ca