The Rusty Toque | Issue 13 | Poetry | November 30, 2017
A pigeon stared down at me.
I denied myself everything
(because it was my birthday).
But in the cave of tattoos
all they could offer was
a terrible kind of pleasure.
The air-raid siren banged my head.
A squirrel plunged its teeth in my ankle.
While I washed my shattered dishes
I saw them through the window:
they talked deep into the quivering night.
When he hung up the phone
she hid all her philosophy books
under the mouldy sofa bed.
In the diner destroyed by fire
he ordered a tuna sandwich
with a pair of pliers
torn out of his head
like a piece of wood and a river.
At Laundromats Here There Are No Dryers
Where I am, bicycles have no wheels.
Figs have no trees. The protests
in the streets have no protestors.
The garbage bins are lidless.
have no wicks. Rats have no
hammocks, and fish aren’t able
to read. Do you see, now,
how different it is here?
My clothes are soaked
but they are clean. I pull them on
and walk through the park
where the temperature has
no limit. I lie back in the grass
that has no ants, peer
into the sky that has no birds.
But the clouds here, I haven’t
yet mentioned the clouds here:
they sing these very personal songs
about wronging and being
wronged. They smoke a lot
of cigarettes. You can hear it.
And I sing along though I have
no voice. I sing with my eyes.
STUART ROSS is the author of 20 books of poetry, fiction, and essays. A Sparrow Came Down Resplendent (Wolsak and Wynn, 2016) won the Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry. Stuart’s latest is the novel Pockets (ECW Press, 2017). He blogs infrequently at bloggamooga.blogspot.ca and lives in Cobourg, Ontario.