Thursday, January 01, 2009

Notes for a Sad Phoenician

You are the question to all my answers. I was an
echo without prior sound until you, silently, wrote,
“I am counting on my fingers to remember you.” If
only you had got my name right.
— Robert Kroetsch, Excerpts from the Real World
Do you remember my fingers on the High Level Bridge? I remember your blue dress. The wind is made of molecules, impassive but never alone. A mass of improprieties.

I am looking for you through a myth of roses.

I am putting your heart back together with four hands, yours and then mine. We walked together, from Edmonton east.

I have nearly forgiven you for being born in Windsor, Ontario.

We have been here so long, the world has mesmerized our stories. Even our words remain restless. We are the last ones to admit that the stories were true.

If I were to believe my own mythos, I live a life of epiphanies threaded together with rusted needle.

You can never see out of eyes not your own. My twentysomething gaze out my childhood window, the fir tree that grown up to euthanise view.

It was not where we meant to end up. We ordered the oysters, a bottle of red, the lamb special. Your ivory coast.

We are already further than the idea of a door. I identify with the familiar, and you tell me how I don’t like change. I call this foundation.

A song I wrote for Helen of Troy became infused with blood. I no longer play it. Puncture wounds become obvious when skin exposed to the cold.

You are a tiny blue island. I am working my way up to your shoreline. I long to get shipwrecked there.

John Newlove said once that all of his poems were about desire. Desire, not longing, or love. The Phoenicians, it was said, were known as believers in language.

If I could write you a love poem, I will.

1 comment:

carolyn said...

this was shared with me today, and is the first time i've read a poem about home. i tried to read it aloud but i just got cotton-mouthed and my heart felt like a bowl of pudding on a stormy ocean.

i don't quite what i'm trying to say but thank you for writing this.