Sunday Poems XXVI

I feel that I’ve spent a lot of words lately discussing the weather. It’s been remarkable though. Some days have felt like summer, when usually at this time of year we would still be held by the last grips of winter. I walk through the river valley without a coat on.

Yesterday I crossed the bridge and the water below hosted a maze of ice bumping into each other. This morning I crossed it and the ice was moving much more quickly. It crashed into the bridge supports and crumbled. This afternoon it was mostly gone. The river had turned from steely and blueish to brown and muddy, an afternoon’s worth of thaw along the banks.

Sundays are a good day to wash the windows. You can’t stay up like you used to anymore. You used to be able to stay up all night, reading, working. You can’t do that anymore. It takes the next day away. Burning the midnight oil. Burning the candle at both ends. A lot of burning going on. But the windows are streaky so you occupy yourself with wiping them down, clearing up the refraction. While you’re at it, you work on the mirrors. One long mirror in your room, the folding mirror in three sections which takes up the wall over the sink in the washroom. There’s not much more you can manage. You sit on the floor in an offering of sunlight and read to yourself. As always, I’m here if you need to talk. Have a good week everybody.


balcony

i)

marbled floors, black keys on a steel keyboard.
a striped shirt. hair slick:
either washed this morning and greased,
washed an hour ago and still damp,
or washed last several days ago.

voices.

ii)

street lamps

orange juice
milk.

pancakes for breakfast.

there’s no food in the house except
these vegetables getting soft in the fridge.

the last showing of the evening. walking your dog.

gentle footsteps past the apartment door. thin legs.
it’s a good thing, the pants don’t have much room.
the moon is up during the day. this is strange.

you have the wings of a crow.

leaves and other hurts. copy-paste into a new place.
brushing with steel.

running the keys along the doorjam. white plastic survaces,
black, vinyl hands. red marks on the cheeks.
from the cold. from your hand.

streetlamps, awe
for streetlamps, a streetfly,
on the cobblestones.

there are only a few streets with cobblestones here
and no one uses them.

iii)

the pink liquid. the cleaning agent.

you got it in your eyes
and went to the doctor.

head upside down in the kitchen sink
bleeding tears.

the faucet running into your eye, over your face, up your nose
you feel like you’re drowning
but you want the poison out.

butts form in the shop
black leather seats and filtered dishwear. glasses leaping. steel sharpened at the edge.

iv)

the phone doesn’t light up.

the neon doesn’t charge.

red lettering on yellow canvas.

aeresol smell every time you cross the bridge.

jump it says
the walk light lasts for only five seconds.

a red hand. requesting. pleading. sspeed up.
a count down.

v)

setting the typewriter on your desk,
you haven’t dusted it in years.

years, it is incredible
the way that word
slips from your mouth
and you want to shove it back in.

unhinge your jaw and swallow it whole
no chewing.

suck it back. but you don’t.

you don’t even grab the vacuum cleaner
with the nozzle on the long hose. with lots of pressure.

 


Originally published April 3, 2016.

Theodore Fox is a poet living on Treaty Six land in Canada.
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