what i remember about montreal, 2011

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the radio was on when we were crossing the bridge
and you thought their french
sounded funny

trying to look around,
observe things
at stoplights
through chinatown
to the latin quarter

i remember getting bagels
and that cafe with all the plants
that was just perfect
a picture of a window
with rectangles of
construction paper
behind the glass,
evenly spaced
colours i liked

season colours-
things we wore-
my brown boots
and you in my
yellow sweater
often
a diner
sitting in the window booth
up front
coffee
and back then
i think we took it
with cream

walks
always walks
the spiral
staircases
the bricks paintings
on the walls
a shoestore named
yellow,
that sign OMMA
with the floral
letters

i think we took
your car
i assume
we went to a bakery
because that’s
what we love,
loved.

this city’s great
thinking yeah yeah
this is great
turning a corner and
yeah, maybe one day
i’ll move here

leaves dropping
in the backgrounds
of things-
a gentle
autumn snow

park bench
kinder egg
in all the pictures
your eyes, they’re closed

salt fields, kampot cambodia

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passing them
from the back of a scooter
unsure at first –
a gloss
reflecting sky
or rectangles
of ice, rows
harvested
white
little pyramids

eventually

000027

000002

don’t forget india.

unpacking,
water stains
things i don’t remember
getting wet.

now, baths
hours
of extra skin
reading about vietnam
world war two
(an attempt at
intentionality)
wondering what
i’ll write in letters
this winter wondering
why i can’t make it home
for kirsten’s wedding if
i would have been
a bridesmaid and what spring
in california
is like this year
and storytelling-
i am making this
up my
narrative
outgrowing
your own character
sometimes
that happens
palms up, steaming
(knowing)
i am full
of something powerful.

exchanging
companions.
now, just big shy
sidewalks
without plants
stalls carts and where
are all the people
scents
and songs litter
animals-
now, it’s quiet

now, victorians
carved in pairs
with porches,
gates overflowing
rosemary

but mostly i’m cold
i don’t have the right clothes.
i am not ready for
autumn in april-
everything’s backwards
and all i have are kurtas
and two pairs
of thin socks
but there are things
returning-
like groceries
shelves an
address a laundry
basket,
keys
the most ordinary
dear things they’re
coming back

lists
and getting started
i’m a toss
in the night dreams
and twists
and aches on hold
i still can’t
really let out
holding air
waiting,

this transition
of body
and after a while
the rest,
eventually
following

nova scotia, september 2011

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going north
and then let’s
go farther-
halifax,
katie and abe
trans canada highway
trees forever
on both sides.

cape breton
cabot trail
big sighs
and quiet
looking
wooden
houses and boats
in the front yards
prairies
on top mountains
at meat cove
cheticamp,
iginosh
highlands
cove,
ocean playground.

middlehead trail
and waterfalls running
into the sea
my friend
in a red hood
giggling
and sometimes
we are just
seven
years old.

we take turns
driving, napping
your pearl earrings
avocado
in the grass

new brunswick wide
road small
hills, border
signs for bangor
lewiston auburn
almost home.

we did not see wild horses.
or moose.
i’m trying
to not feel disappointed
about that.

leaving providence

image

things in boxes
that used to hold pears
and i am scrubbing cabinets
window panes hallway
floors thinking i’ve hated
this house thinking
yes, i’ve loved
this house

at work cleaning out
another locker, another
family now floating –

wade
with the blue eyes,
kind seth, and leanne
who always said,
“what a nice lady.”
the sues, and steve just
something about that man
i loved

u-haul, strange
to own furniture and everything’s
loaded and i don’t even stop
for a last look i just
completely forgot

arriving in hunua

weeks
now, a homestead
with a very long
driveway
autumn,
her leaves
a single
sheep, there
sideways
in bones, there
in the corner
of a paddock
“don’t look”
she said.

lachlan
lucas, together
wrapped
in boyhood
in a heap
of compost building
tunnels
in tiny
gum boots
adventuring
down towards
a gypsy caravan,
a shepherd’s
hut, arena
garden in squares
growing rhubarb
and roses
the magnolias
confused, blooming
and some things
are lying down
after summer
finished
and tired

the luminaries
buttonholes
rains
doo-hawg’s
the name
of a border collie
and there are four
cats:

minnie
snuffy
ouchie cat
and mr. pants

quiet weekends
head cold baking
marshmallows
planting
bulbs weeding
the artichokes,
the nasturtiums

sitting outside
on steps, coloured
pencils writing
a letter
to nathan john
to new hampshire
that months later
got sent back

little chaos
reoccurrence
house on fire
(still and still)

low and low
i do what i want
no hair, only
a few small
centimeters
left, those blues
they got to me
and anyways now
i’m a real
peach

shades of green
and florals-
wallpaper,
pink wine
rose apples
how they call dinner
“tea”, discovering
the inside
patterns the
perfume
of feijoas

still they come

one

still they come
little deaths
we have much
to bury, yet –

letter from maine
coffee dark
morning, past
eleven – it’s been
so long, she kept saying
your cat, she said
cancer
darling

our cat darling
thumbs
and tiger stripes.

glancing
around the room
the window covering
my mouth how
it came out, up
through corners
knowing
this is part of it –
the finishing
of things.

koh ta kiev

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needles green
come down
on my belly
saying hi, there’s
a pine
up there

sand hair
skin part lizard
and rabbit
this island
robinson crusoe
jungle sounds
driftwood
turned a swing table
ladder – it’s
a playground, at night
plankton twinkles
splashes and
winks

days pass
swim, nap
following
the shade
discovering
a distillery
absinthe tucked
away, paths
a tunnel
of branches
abandoned
fishing boats
coral beach
we’re there
in a tree
with cordon bleu
and fireworks

loft

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moving day
rachela’s loft
making walls
of bedsheets
floral, calico
i remember
there are birds called wendies

shopping cart sounds
in night, and morning
bus ride, LAX
steetlight fire
flies pass on windows
and the palms
like black balloons

summer warms in february
1st street to glendale
overheating car green
leaking to the curb
groceries, immigrants
cans of beans
kidney, pinto

friend in red, singing
1920’s roxy
heart i was driving there –
the unknown theatre –
lost in hollywood, that
drumming melodic pedro
and his lion

pretty sure that was the night
i in white and you
said you know you look
an angel

tübingen, 2007

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fiona,
with allan poe, and
typewriter

sometimes days
are just colours, and
two people

meeting there, crossing
street hills cobbling
downwards, swinging
chair outside
together and talking of letters,
haikus,
cooking upstairs –
attic kitchen.
to the bakery
for rolls, practicing
practicing my numbers eins
zwei

fiona wears black and speaks excellent french.
i can’t help it, fiona
that i do not have any lovers.

lucerne, april

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i have asked spring
please, to keep
me take
me with her
when leaving
wherever it is 
she goes.

bangkok, december

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now there is gold
bordering, edges
curving up like
calligraphy

 river transport
long tails
a city dressed
in plants in greens
blues lady
boys

khao san cattle
follow me through
upstairs down
back door i know
a place this alley that
pad thai

high, fourth
floor new merry
house and karaoke
underneath
on the balcony
watching the taxis
the lights on that
christmas tree, there
across the street

autumn, rhode island

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swan point, cemetery
leaves like butter
flies twirling
in air, as girls do
in pretty dresses.
and the sugar maples
they are lit up.

to johnston,
a patch, picking
a long island cheese
a cinderella

how to keep
this autumn
little shivers
nose sniffles
and you say my hair
sometimes
is the colour
of copper

four thousand islands

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watching ants
and the mekong, always
there just
there-

bicycle, yellow
watermelon
island hops khong,
then det-
something i heard,
“a tree between trees”

first days

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mel2

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cottages all
together, touching
shoulders –
sitting down
in rows named
albion.

iron lacework
brenda on walks
the beginning
of eucalypts,
the beginning
of tree shadows
in general.