“lured into my childhood home” by Sasha at MacKenzie beach

Tuesday October 9, 2018
2:42pm
5 minutes
The Stray
Stephen A. Waite

We play Monopoly lying on our stomachs on the carpet
in front of the woodstove. Mom is out for a cross
country ski. We just filled our bellies with hot
chocolate, more than we’re allowed to have, more than
is good for us, but that’s okay. You put another
log into the mouth of the stove, and I jump up
because there are sparks, and fire is brave.
You know how to turn the damper. You know how to
be the banker. We hear Mom banging her skis on
the porch.

“I married Dave” by Sasha at Ocean Village

Monday October 8, 2018
3:31pm
5 minutes
Plants Don’t Have Birthdays
Andrea Gregor

If I’d married Dave my life wouldn’t be what it is. I would never have married Dave, but if I had, it would be chaos. It’s chaos now, in a way, but life is chaos sometimes and I’m okay with that. Dave is chaos. I’m not okay with that.

I sometimes get bored by the stories of my past that just go round and round and round and round. Can I ever let go? Am I the only one? What’s with the barnacles?

Summer makes me nostalgic and fall makes me nostalgic and winter makes me so nostalgic and spring makes me nostalgic too.

“My friend Joe” by Sasha in a bunk at Camp Fircom

Saturday October 6, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
His Hands
Mary Jane Nealon

I used to have a friend name Joe.
Then things went really fucking wild and I can’t exactly say that we’re friends anymore.
See in my world, when you’re going to do something radical, or you do something radical, if it impacts someone else, someone you care about, someone who is your f-r-i-e-n-d, then you give ’em a heads up.
Shoot them a text even.
Doesn’t have to be something scary like a phone call or a face-to-face.
A text.
Is not.
Hard to send.
So it makes me think about how this guy, this Joe, is not made of the stuff I thought he was.
Maybe none of us are.
Or we learn as we go.
As we fail.
As we fuck up, fuck people over, choose what matters.
I’ve had almost a year to reflect on how I could’ve done things different.
There are so many things I could’ve done differently then.
Now though? Now I think about my old friend Joe and I wonder what would happen if we ran into each other on the street.
What would Joe say?

“didn’t resemble each other” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday October 1, 2018
7:01am
5 minutes
Boy
J. Mays

We didn’t resemble one another when we left, but when we got back everybody kept saying we looked like sisters. We spent a total of four hours apart over the course of these seven weeks, which is truly not a lot of time. Travelling with someone allows you to know them in a way that every other act does not. What happens when it’s raining and you don’t have an umbrella and you don’t even have shoes on, just leather flip flops? What happens when you’re more tired than you’ve ever been, and you finally understand what real fatigue is, not the kind of fatigue one gets from all-nighters and hangovers, but from responsibility and having to navigate the winding streets of Jerusalem?

“My mother told us” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday September 30, 2018
4:43pm
5 minutes
Waiting For My Rape
Jessica Anya Blau

My mother told us the prognosis
over the phone as we lay in our bed
your hand on my belly
my hand on your heart

The rain came today and it feels
right a cleansing a weeping
a shedding and you’re cleaning
the house of all the summer sand

My mother astounds me every day
with her willingness to feel the truth
with her ability to meet the mystery
with her strength in the breaking

It’s good to have stillness
amidst the flurry the fury
the unfurling the fraying
It’s good to have a Sunday like this

Jolie eats an apple on FaceTime
and we laugh at the determination
the squeals the sweetness
the surrender

“what day she was born,” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday September 29, 2018
6:01pm
5 minutes
The World’s Oldest Person
Elizabeth Onusko

when mama forgets the day that daisy was born everyone knows that’s it. probably any day now. uncle bert hid the vodka, the whiskey and the gin. mama was drinking everything in sight, and that makes her worse, that makes things worse for everyone. chloe sings to her, “rock-a-by-baby” and all the songs mama used to sing to us when we had nightmares. daisy, poor thing it’s her birthday, makes a sponge cake with whipped cream and sliced strawberries. we bring mama a slice in bed and she chokes and coughs but says that it’s delicious. she’s right. it is. “good job, daisy,” chloe says and I play with her hair the way she likes.

“the serpent coiled around the pillar” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday September 25, 2018
6:21pm
5 minutes
Come of Age
Stephen Jenkinson

I have been plagued with loving you
the serpent coiled around the pillar
What is this ache for more and more
The moon knows the difference
The moon knows when enough is enough

I’m empty now that I’m full
the house is quiet and the tea is drunk
Lhasa on the stereo telling me that
life is short
Don’t I know it

There’s nothing left for me to burn
my fingers are matchsticks
my love is the wick at the stump
I’ll dance with my hands
while whispering a lullaby

Singing along in Spanish
a language I wish I knew

“They must have math class” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday September 19, 2018
7:48am
5 minutes
Wakaranai
Hanako Masutani

“Math class give me the sweats!” Ramona shouts from the top of the stairs.

“This homework isn’t going to do itself!” Pho stands in the kitchen, almost raising her voice. “What will your Mom say when she gets home?” Pho listens. She waits. She hears the door slam upstairs, and then slow, heavy footsteps across the hall. At a snail’s pace, Ramona descends.

“I hate integers…” Ramona plops into a stool at the kitchen island, her knapsack beside her filled with books. Pho loads the dishwasher.

“I know, sweetie, try your best.”

Ramona takes out her textbook and her spiral bound notebook. She sharpens a pencil.

“The longer you procrastinate, the later it’s going to be and then you’ll be more tired and your brain will – ”

“I’m DOING IT!” Ramona huffs her way through the first few practise problems.

“after every sick joke” by Sasha on her couch

Monday September 17, 2018
8:22pm
5 minutes
July, ’77
Jill Mandrake

Am I boring you?
I know we don’t edit these
but I just wrote
“borning” and had
to go back and erase
the “n”
Maybe I’m doing
that too

“N” is a letter
that I love
The cello is an
instrument that
I love
Fall is a season
that I love

Some days all we
can do is make
a short list of
the things
that we love

“people are still listing reasons” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie

Saturday September 15, 2018
4:55pm
5 minutes
Collaboration: Visual/Written Poetry
Sarah Leavitt & Jen Currin

Keith Jarret on the record player. The Masquerade Is Over. You stir risotto over the stove, your glasses fogging up. You add white wine, and then swig from the bottle. Here we are. The temperature is dropping outside and people we thought we loved are turning out to be those who we never imagined. Or did we? And people we definitely loved are sick, and we are gathering around them with baskets of fresh veggies from the market and tear-stained cheeks. There aren’t words. There’s Keith Jarret. There’s a table settling for two.

“still dangerous,” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday September 13, 2018
6:39pm
5 minutes
Soft
Sarah Pinder

Soon we will be spread out
different places
you here and her there and
me where we used to leave
the three of us

Different countries
Different worlds maybe
Or that’s my fear talking
She sounds like you
sometimes

I want to tell you everything
but I can’t
and that’s a first
kind of
and that’s strange
kind of

Curled up in my bed
watching the clouds
listening to jazz on the radio
dancing with my hands
until I fall asleep

My heart breaks for
who we used to be
The women on the corner
head’s thrown back
laughing

“a few drops of peppermint oil.” By Sasha in the bath

Tuesday September 11, 2018
8:22pm
5 minutes
The Incense of Those Rooms
Jen Currin

We’re going to build a small house behind the house that I grew up in. A garden, five trees, a bird bath will separate the past from the present. Now it’s just drawings, and hoping, and scrounging, and working through feeling like hell. Now is making it happen for then. For them. For us, three years from now. It’s strange, isn’t it. How autumn brings nostalgia, heavy and ripe. We’re going to build something together, maybe a house, maybe several homes scattered across the coasts. East and West, sun and moon. God laughs at our plans. I hear it in my belly like butterfly wings, touching pinkies with you.

“like slivered almonds in the bulk section,” by Sasha in her bed

Monday September 10, 2018
10:31pm
5 minutes
Parsley
Listen Chen

Someone who’s just as lonely as all of us. A change of heart.
A sliver of a dream from a decade ago, a sliver of a hope that got washed out, a sliver of all the “no’s”; all mixed in together like almonds for baking in the bulk section at the grocery store. This is the way it goes, I guess.
Thirty two years doing this life, and I still don’t know
much beyond what I do. I imagine your body turning into a million tiny shards
of light – fireflies – and ascending up up up up up.

“books about people living on the street” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday September 8, 2018
7:12am
5 minutes
Searching, results
Shawn Syms

In a good bookstore (I think you know what that means) I wish I was a better writer I wish I was a better reader I wish I was a better person. Books make me want to do better in every inch keep things clean keep things open keep things real. I admire how my Dad reads. I wish I read like my Dad. I wish I spent way less time with a screen and way more time in pages and pages and pages and words are the way of the future they are how we become who we are how the future breathes life into the present.

“I’ll quit smoking when God admits he fucked up.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 30, 2018
7:21am
5 minutes
Nigh
Chris Emslie
Fewer gifts and more
honest conversation
okayyyyy the sound
of your voice is a
lullaby a butterfly
kiss a warm wish
Less comparing
because that’s
capitalism talking
that’s the fear that
stuff makes us
enough but really
what makes us
enough
the laughlines
and the pit in
your chest that’s
filled slowly
through music
and a conversation
with an old friend
Who cares about
where we’re going
if the present is
full my heart is
bursting wide
begging the season
to change to mark
this bigness inside

“I’m old enough to be that girl’s mother,” by Sasha in her bed

Friday August 24, 2018
10:14pm
5 minutes
My Mother’s Body
Marie Howe

When I’m on the bus
or downtown
I see these packs
of wolf-girls
and I think

“I could be your mother, howler”

There’s a power
in that I didn’t
know to be true
until I got a disdainful
look until I was
standing in front
of the classroom
asking them to write
poems and a few of
these wolf-girls
look at me like
I’m old
I’m gross
I’m uncool
HA!

Jokes on them
but it does feel strange
because I used to be
one of them
judging less overtly
though

I used to be one of them
and now I’m old enough
to be that girl’s mother

“the thin woods and across the highway” by Sasha at the Airbnb in Mount Pleasant

Sunday August 19, 2018
10:56am
5 minutes
November 1968
Brian Doyle

She climbs and climbs
like she never knew she could
the thin woods reaching
towards sun
towards starlight
towards eagle feather

She reaches a highway
and wishes it was a
river she was crossing

Eagle swoops down
lifts her up
carries her across

She shares water and
bread as a thank you
and the bird leaves
a feather in exchange
for her smile
for her goodness
for her trust that
inter-species friendships
are not reserved for the
domesticated
it’s only that too often
human beings
are afraid

“My miracle is not that you can’t knock me down” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday August 15, 2018
7:10am
5 minutes
Monday Night Class
Stephen Gaskin

you know that you’ll find yourself
finally
in your forties
you’ve heard that it can happen
for some people
in their thirties
but that’s just not you
you can’t even remember to
take the recycling out on the
proper day
or survive a month on
plenty of fish
you know you’ll find yourself
eventually
before death
you imagine that that’s what
that means
eventually
it’s a miracle that you often say
“I’m fine,”
when asked
“How are you, Melanie?”
you know that you are fine
most of the time
occasionally you drink too much
and on those nights
you wonder if anyone
is fine at all
if anyone has found themself

“play the role of devoted son.” By Sasha in her bed

Saturday August 11, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
Tincture Of Mother
Alan Craig

You groomed me to be your little sidekick. Until I was thirteen or so, I liked it. I ate it up like a peanut butter sandwich. The role of devoted son was the best one I played. I could’ve earned a medal, or a Golden Globe, or at least some kind of pin/ribbon. God knows I didn’t have enough coordination for the school musical, and I wasn’t fast enough for softball. But being your boy? I had that down pat. You taught me exactly how you wanted to be treated – always “Maman”, never “Mom” or “Mother” or “Mummy”; a gin and tonic with a slice of lime and five ice cubes in your hand at 4pm; “I love you,” and kisses on both cheeks before getting on the bus. When Papa left you sat me down (drink in hand), in the parlour. We only ever sat in the parlour when we had guests over, important guests, colleagues of Papa’s or the Westford’s from the across the street who you always wanted to impress. You said, “You’re my man now, Francois.”

“Eyes roaming distant waters,” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday August 9, 2018
3:52pm
5 minutes
Wandering At Oblique Creek
T’ao Ch’ien

You walk to the lake before sunrise. You barely stumble on the path because you’ve tread it so many times but once or twice there is a new root, a new rock, and you almost trip but you don’t because you’re listening. When you arrive at the water’s edge, the light is rising. The sun isn’t on the horizon yet, but the light is reaching up up up up up and there are colours like you’ve never seen before – a new lilac, a new azure, a new lapis, a new rouge. You find a place to sit, the quiet, familiar dome of a boulder that you’ve sat on many times before. You unfocus your eyes over the still glass of the water. Sky and lake blend. You and this place are one, these birch trees, these ferns, these cedars.

“full of tenderness” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday August 8, 2018
6:52am
5 minutes
Chant
Wang An-Shih

Gimme a minute sweet one I’ve got water boiling on the stove
Gimme a minute honeypots I’m on the phone
Hold on darling there’s something I need to finish here
Can you wait?
Why not?
Okay…
Hold on…
HOLD ON…
Okay.
What is it?
A caterpillar?
My goodness!
You’re right!
Can you could those legs?
How many do you think she has?
Gentle.
Gentle!
See that little yellow stripe?
How do you think she feels about it?
It’s not quite time for lunch yet but I have some apricots if you’d like.

“You should always be sure” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday August 6, 2018
7:02am
5 minutes
The Law of Success
Paramahansa Yogananda

The thing is, we’re never sure
And we leap anyway
Off the edge
Whatever that looks like for you

It’s often a dock
like the one at Knowlton Lake
Sometimes it’s a cliff
something I would never do

Every big decision
doesn’t come from a place of sureness
It comes from an inkling
like the loons calling at dusk

Did you hear that?
Was that their song?
Is it time?
Is it now?

We’re never sure
or maybe I’m never sure
But I am on the other hand
My gut whispers “Go”

“Hear splash blue” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday August 4, 2018
2:42pm
5 minutes
Here Room Sleeps
Dale Smith

“Do you hear that?” Mimi tilts her head up, and cocks it a little to the right.

“No…” This happens often, but I play along. I got a good sleep last night so I’m feeling game.

“It’s it’s it’s it’s BLUE!” Mimi laughs.

“You’re hearing the blue?”

“M-hmm.”

“Mimi, how are you hearing a colour?”

“It’s easy! You just feel in your tummy and your tongue and some other places like maybe the liver or the kidney! And it’s clear that it’s BLUE.”

I haven’t heard her explain something like this before, about her experience of the world.

“Mama, are you crying?” She touches my face.

“But when he reached the age” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 2, 2018
9:35pm
5 minutes
Atheist at the Pulpit
Larry Krotz

It wasn’t okay for you to smile like you used to. When you reached a certain age. Suddenly upturned corners of mouth and sparkler eyeballs means something you don’t want it to mean. Shit. Why does that have to happen. You have to start thinking about the kind of shirts you wear. The boys in your class stare. Shit. You stop playing soccer at lunch on the icy field because you’re not sure about how things are moving. You steal subway tickets from your babysitters wallet because no one thinks you’re a kid and you don’t like when the bus driver makes a scene and asks to see your birth certificate. You carry it in your yellow wallet, though, just in case.

“a family house can remain empty” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday August 1, 2018
1:03pm
5 minutes
The Highest Bidder
Kerry Gold

Snap and we’re sat at the table and we’re talking about more money than I’ve ever had/dreamed of (that’s not totally true) and Snap we’re talking about a house a place where we’ll grow and scream and hug and make salads and Snap I tell you my secret and you hold it like you hold me Snap to the gentleness of the realization that words aren’t enough and the present is all we have and Snap okay baby you say okay baby we’ll do it Snap how do I deserve this (that’s not really it) Snap scrolling and scrolling and scrolling Snap rock a by baby on the tree top Snap lines of credit and how will the mortgage work and life’s short but also let’s hope life’s long and there’s no time like the present but timing is everything Snap

“Of course we should postpone.” By Sasha on her balcony

Tuesday July 31, 2018
9:31pm
5 minutes
From an e-mail

Typing into Google (the all mighty 8 ball of this century)
“Why am I so tired?”
“How do you know you’re pregnant?”
“How far away is space?”

All these kittens in their bedrooms
Nirvana posters and twinkle lights
condom wrappers and Fruit by the Foot
belly button lint and a card from a grandmother

Searching for God in a screen
little or big same difference
searching for connection alone
little or big same difference

You’re tired because you don’t sleep enough, peanut
You’re pregnant when magic happens and blood doesn’t
Space is here
God is here

Let’s spoon until it’s winter
and make soup
and sing anthems

“Happy Monday Lovers” by Sasha at her desk

Monday July 30, 2018
10:55pm
5 minutes
from @a_belovedgreen on Instagram

I bobbed in the water at Indian Arm
let my hair turn to seaweed
let me toes touch tadpoles
kissing the salt
kissing the sun
kissing you
oh the sweetness
of the dead man’s float

remember
remember
remember

Happy Monday from
the cove of the free
and the spot of the brave
uncomfortable conversations
trying to explain
land acknowledgements
these nations whispering
through our feet

remember remember
remember

I bob in the water at Indian Arm
drove her stretching elbow
swam under the freckle at
her wrist

“exiled to the foothills” by Sasha on her couch

Monday July 23, 2018
12:02am
5 minutes
The Gulag Archipelago
Solzhenitsyn

“Let’s go to the mountains, mama…” Oli looks up at me with longing.

“Why do you want to go there?”

“Because I’ve never been!”

“Why do you think you’d like it?”

“Because mountains are tectonic plates that smashed together and that’s so cool and I want to do my project on them and how can I when I’ve never seen them in real life?!”

“Please don’t whine.”

“I’m not! I’m just saying that it’s only fair – ”

“Honey, nothing about decision making when it comes to vacation has to do with what’s fair.”

“BUT – ”

“I’ll think about it, okay? Now, go brush your teeth, it’s already seventeen minutes passed your bedtime.”

“cultivate the kind of robust gladness” by Sasha on her balcony

Friday July 20, 2018
7:32am
5 minutes
The Spiral Staircase
Karen Armstrong

I try to cut you loose but then you show up when I’m least expecting.
Today you’re in my jaw. Asshole. It’s already tight.

There isn’t enough space for you! I try…

I use the heel of my hands and massage where you are, hoping I’ll squeeze you out like toothpaste – slow and gunky.
Nope.
You hold on.
You always were stubborn.

The last time I saw you was when I was going down and you were coming up at Bathurst station.
“SHIT!” You said.
“Hi.” I said.

“I thought you lived in Vancouver?”
“I do. I’m just visiting.”
“Want to grab a coffee?”
“I, um, I… I can’t. I’m meeting a friend.”
“I’m a friend.”
“Um…”
“I’m just teasing you.”
“Yup.”

“What happened to the women?” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday July 18, 2018
12:33pm
5 minutes
A Warm Moist Salty God
Edwina Gateley

They gather us in the camp. All of us strong ones, all of us pretty ones, all of us fat ones, all of us supple ones, all of us bleeding ones. The camp smells like cat food and compost. Some women hold their noses. I don’t want to be that obvious. I plug it from the inside, like Duncan taught me when we were at the cabin and had to shit in the old outhouse. The guards outnumber the women. This is what it’s come to.

“What’s your problem?” Shirley asks a red-headed guard who can’t be more than twenty two. He’s been watching her as she scrubs the floors of the mess hall.

“I don’ got a problem but chu…” He isn’t from here.

“I find it terribly strange that – ” Shirley can’t even get her words out. PhD.

“ENOUGH!” Captain shoots his rifle out the window.

“For the sea lies all about us…” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday July 2, 2018
10:54pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rachel Carson

She longs to live in a place
with the sea all around
An island not too far
from the mainland
but far enough
that she’s
unleashed
far enough that
her spirit can surf
in the hazy moments
between
dawn and day
day and dusk

She longs for the buzz
of the city
the ambition of
traffic
the hum of
pavement and people
public transit
live music
possibility

“isolated, alienated, and uncomfortable” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday June 27, 2018
8:12am
5 minutes
From quillette.com

You died seventeen months ago. I count in months because years doesn’t give the weight. I stopped counting in weeks, in days, because that felt too heavy. There probably hasn’t been a minute that I haven’t thought of you, a whole sixty seconds. No way.

Pete said that you basically killed yourself, that you wanted to die. I said I wasn’t sure about that.

I play your guitar on the front porch and sometimes the cat from across the street comes and rubs against my legs. Is it you?

I saw the light only for a slippery moment – somewhere between here and there. I saw that I’m not fit to love again, not yet, I’m not fit to wife another husband, not yet.

“Jesus do I have to even get out of bed” by Sasha at her desk

Monday June 4, 2018
11:32pm
5 minutes
From an interview by Devin Friedman

Ben calls to me from upstairs, “Jesus, do I have to even get out of bed?!” It’s the third morning in a row that he hasn’t wanted to crawl out from under the covers. It’s the third morning that I’ve wooed him with bacon, extra coffee, pancakes, sex in the kitchen. These tactics don’t always work, but they sometimes do, so I try.

“It’s almost ten, babe!” I call back. I hope he smells the brewing french press. I hope he hears the love in my voice, and not just the impatience.

“Like you’ve never seen her” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday May 31, 2018
8:56pm
5 minutes
allure magazine May 2017

You’ve never seen her lit up like this. You stand back and watch her, across the room, laughing, brushing her hair out of her eyes, sipping her soda water. You wonder what kind of mother she’ll be. A good one, obviously, but you wonder what her patience will be like. She can get snippy. You don’t idealize motherhood, or parenthood, or any of it. You know it’s going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. You close your eyes and breathe in this fall night, with these people you love, and the sausages on the grill, the asparagus salad, the Bahamas on the stereo. She catches your eye and calls you over.

“Thanks guys” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday May 30, 2018
7:08am
5 minutes
Overheard on Oak St.

“Why are you pouting, Liz?”

“I’m not…”

“You absolutely are.”

“You got what you wanted! You got the promotion, you got a second date with that hottie from the coffee shop, you got into the pottery class… Like, what’s the problem?”

“It’s never enough. I always want – …”

“More?”

“Yeah.”

“Welcome to being human. You’re not special for being insatiable.”

“I don’t think I’m special. That’s the thing.”

“You are special, but you aren’t special for always wanting more more more – ”

“Please stop.”

“Stop what? Trying to make you feel better?”

“I don’t want to – “

“a sleek white line” by Sasha on her couch

Sunday May 27, 2018
10:10pm
5 minutes
Are You Really An Artist?
Leah Burns

I first notice Steve’s expression as he’s carving a chicken. It’s Sunday. Emma and Bobby are home for dinner. Steve picked them up at Emma’s dorm, even though Bobby’s off campus now. Emma was chattering on about intramurals, and I saw it – this vacancy – sweep across Steve’s face. I’ve known Steve for forty two years, right, like, we met when we were five years old. We’ve been married for twenty… You’d think I’d have seen every expression that that man can muster! Nope. It was like a tumbleweed could’ve swept across his cheeks. He was gone.

“Hon?!” I said, scared he might slice off his finger.

“Why though” by Sasha on the walk to Granville Island

Saturday May 26, 2018
11:43am
5 minutes
From a text

Marina asks a million questions and it isn’t even seven. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, I mean we wanted her so bad, right, like we tried for three years and I was beside myself, I was so sad… We wanted her so bad. But the questions, man, I can’t fucking take it! I don’t know why the sky is blue?! I don’t know why grass grows up?! I don’t know how tree root systems work! Good grief, I barely know how to solve a fraction! She’s only three! What am I going to do when she’s seven… or nine… or fifteen!? Like, I’m freakin’ out! Why why why why why why – like, I’m losing my mind, I tell ya!

“I take the streetcar alone to Nathan Phillips Square” by Sasha on her balcony

Friday, May 25, 2018
9:32pm
5 minutes
Demchanizing Our Politics
Maggie Hutcheson 

I take the streetcar alone to Nathan Phillips Square. It’s the first time I’ve been out of the house in what feels like weeks, but is actually days. Four days. It’s winter, and winter in Toronto is meant for hibernation and not leaving the house. Don’t judge me. I haven’t skated since I was a kid, and I certainly don’t own a pair. I rent some hockey skates for ten dollars and decide I definitely need a hot chocolate. I drink it before lacing up, watching the people go round and round. A few teenagers show off with quick stops and I wonder who might come to my rescue if I wipe out.

“I know that guy, we’ve talked” by Sasha on the ferry back to the mainland

Monday May 21, 2018
3:18pm
5 minutes
From a text

I still get texts from you
three years after I knew you
After I took your words
in my mouth
sloshed them around
Spit out teeth and tar

With the gin and tonic
With the water and lemon juice
With the salad dressing

I still hear from you sometimes
When I’m least expecting
When I’m with my shiny prize of a lover
When I’m lonely
When I’m full

There’s nothing that sorry can’t buy
At least with me
But the fact that you don’t say it
That you never will
Is apple cider vinegar
Bath overflowing

What the fuck do you want from
Me on a Monday
So far in the future

I don’t respond
I never do
I imagine blocking your number
But then how will I know that
You need me
How will I know
That hundreds of kilometres away
Someone is reaching for
The past

“present something that is true” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday May 19, 2018
10:05 pm
5 minutes
From a quotei by Kelly Hill

The cedars remind me that
all that matters is
what’s true

I pick fossils on the beach
Wonder how many million
Years are in my hand

Trying to let go of expectations
You touch my cheek
Here we are

Sunburned nose and stars
Peeking bright
My heart races

The cedars whisper
Be here now
No where else to go

Eat cheesecake on the
Picnic table and
Listen to the waves

“Modern medicine clashes” by Sasha on her balcony

Thursday May 17, 2018
8:43pm
5 minutes
from The Observer (UK)

“You must be Mrs. Macarthy? It’s nice to meet you, I’m the resident who assisted Dr. Chokrany in Stephen’s surgery. I’m pleased to say that it was a success, and your husband is in post-op and he should be waking up in the next hour or so…”

“Hi Mom, I only have a minute and – … No, Mom. I don’t get long weekends. I’m – … Mom, I only have a minute so please let me finish. I didn’t get the fellowship in Halifax so I won’t be back for Gus’ wedding… Mom. Calm down. I, I – … Shit, I have to go. I’ll call you back when I’m out of surgery. I love you.”

“Babe? I’m going to be late… I’m sorry… I, I – … It’s been a long fucking shift, okay, and – … I’ll be home by ten at the latest.”

“Are you Sue Rothstein’s son? Hi, I’m Dr. Gold, I’ve just come out of the OR and I’m so sorry to say that your mother’s tumour had spread into her brain far more intensely than we could see from the imaging. She didn’t make it through surgery. I’ll give you a minute, and if you have any questions – … We always do our best, that always what we do… I’m sorry for your loss.”

“She actually cooks” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday May 16, 2018
7:02am
5 minutes
Overheard in the dining room

I take more time now
I try to rush less now
Or maybe that’s a lie now
T-R-Y is the truth I guess

I watch my mother’s body break
And I think about all the women
Breaking
Breaking open
Breaking down
Breaking through
Breaking waves
Breaking story
Breaking bread
Breaking hearts
Breaking wide

I can’t punctuate because
This isn’t over and there’s
No symbol that can accurately
Mark the
Break

Maybe it’s better to stick with
fingers stained
Yellow from curry powder
Or the fine art of slicing tomato
Blending chickpeas into gold

Breaking down the heart
Breaking down the nucleus
Breaking into laughter
Breaking into love

“My mom calls him that” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday May 14, 2018
1:13pm
5 minutes
from a text

“Scrub-a-dub”. That’s what Mom used to call Dustin. He hated bath time, he hated water. He didn’t even want to drink it. Mom would have to add a splash of cranberry juice to his water bottles that she’d send to school. If it was straight water he simply wouldn’t drink it. Kira and I used to joke that he’d have a heart attack if he ever fell into a bath, or the lake.

“Come on, scrub-a-dub,” Mom would say, trying to distract him or something, trying her best to get him to bathe. He would scream and cry. He would tantrum. She’d usually resort to a sponge bath. We didn’t know that Dustin had a lot of other fears, too. We didn’t know what was going to happen.

“The danger of tying your self-worth” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday, May 12, 2018
11:47 pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Brene Brown

The danger of tying your self-worth to the way

that you look is that the way you look is
always changing and so if you think you
matter because you’re face looks good
or you gained ten pounds or you lost
five or your butt looks decent in those
jeans you thrifted

Well

It’s all impermenant
it’s all here today and gone
tomorrow just like the T-shirt
you got at the garage sale
on Arbutus two summers ago

I’ve come to know that it’s
the deep inside that truly
knows the words

“It works excellent!” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday May 3, 2018
11:11pm
5 minutes
From BUNZ trading zone

I want a really nice blender. One of those high-powered bad boys that will make nut butter, salad dressing, and grind fresh flour. So sue me! I want a really nice six hundred dollar blender. Please don’t lecture me about my privilege. I know all about it. My privilege chokes me half the time so that I’m voiceless and like, I might be white but my Mom was a single mother and she raised my two brothers and I in a trailer park on three hundred dollars a month in child support payments so please don’t lecture me on privilege. I just want a goddamn blender that really works.

“Response rate: 100%” by Sasha on the 17

Thursday April 26, 2018
9:52pm
5 minutes
poparide.com

Our third Thanksgiving all together, Babs teaches Simon and me how to make a mirepoix – two parts onion, to one part celery, and one part carrot. Babs peels her carrots, but when Simon and I make it later, and she isn’t around, we don’t, almost like we’re honouring Mom.

Mom was a lover of peasant food, or at least that’s what she’d call it. Nothing fancy. As few pots as possible. She made a great Dahl. She used to pack it in our lunches and the other kids would wrinkle their noses when we opened our thermoses, steaming lentils and curry. We weren’t embarrassed. Maybe it’s because we always had eachother, Simon and I. Being a twin is weird. But you do always have someone, and that’s nice.

Babs never asks us to call her anything but “Babs”, not like Dad’s second wife who insisted we call her “Maman”.

“The liar’s punishment” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday April 25, 2018
10:25am
5 minutes
From a quote by George Bernard Shaw

I live in a different room in the house of your heart now
that the truth is out and five months have gone by
and still no word from you

I live in the room with the ones that have done you wrong
and we cower in corners when you open the door or
someone else does

I won’t call myself liar for you because the only thing I
would do differently is the one thing I
can’t do differently now

Three lines can hold the truth and the lies better than we can
so here I am and here you are but not
really you’re ten streets away

Sometimes when I think about you I think about if I’ll ever
live in a different room than this one
in the house of your heart

Is it possible for us to go into the maze where we don’t know
which way is best which way is up which way is healing and
how much are we willing to release so we both can move on

“not like you” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday April 21, 2018
12:02pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Carlos Fuentos

I’m not like you, Mimi. I’m not noble. I’m not one of those people who goes home and lies awake thinking about what I did wrong that day. I do my business, I do my best, and I move on. I don’t do integrity like you do, heck, no one does. You can’t hold everyone to the standards that you hold yourself to! It doesn’t work like that! We all need something different! We are all something different!

Do you want to say something?

No?

Okay. I’ll… continue. Mimi, I value you as a friend, and as a colleague, and you’re good for this place, you’re GOOD. But this perfectionism is taking over everything you do, and everything we all do, and it’s got to stop.

Protected: “Do everything as slowly as possible” by Sasha at Anytime Fitness

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“Jon came home” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday, April 13, 2018
5:22pm
5 minutes
Modern Grief
Nancy Westaway

Jon comes home and he’s angry and shivering.

“What’s for dinner?” He says, like I know, or I’m keeping it a secret.

“I just got home too, Jon,” I say, and he doesn’t like that. He opens and closes the fridge a few times. Same with the pantry cupboards.

“Can ya make something hot? It was all icy on the rig today.” Jon fills the kettle, which I can’t say I’ve ever seen him do.

“How about spaghetti?” I lean back in my chair.

“Spaghetti?” A small smile curls over his lips, like fog.

“No?” I watch him turn on the wrong burner, and then realize and move the kettle.

“Spaghetti sounds good.”

“Very rarely patients develop __________.” By Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Wednesday April 11, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
Diagnosis
Adam Sol

She’s got a real fear of sickness so she runs for ninety minutes on the treadmill every day after work. She thinks that if she sweats, if her heart rate is increased, she won’t get sick. She’s most scared of cancer and diabetes. Her father had type 2 and died of a heart attack at sixty-five. She only eats chocolate when she’s about to get her period because she should be allowed a tiny indulgence, right? Even then, it’s two squares of dark chocolate with no added sugar. Sugar is the enemy. Sugar makes sickness. So does salt, so does fat, so do carbs. The fear’s been getting worse, as she gets older, because older people are usually sicker people.

“All my friends are having babies” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday April 4, 2018
10:56pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

you won’t know me when you finally decide that i’m worthy and i’ll put a german shepherd in charge of my heart who will bark when you come close because that’s what i’ve got to do and i’ll do it because that’s the kind of person i am now. surprise. will you have thought long and hard about how to punish me (silence) how to hurt me back (silence) how to make me feel so low that your lowness is lessened is lighter. is your low less? is your low light? good good i’m glad for you i want the best for you i want the light for you. it’s been a long time. you won’t know me and the shape of my new face new world new days in and out in and out flying to see my lion home alone again nights alone thinking of the soup i’ll make the tea i’ll brew the better tomorrow better tomorrow. thinking of the babies i’ll have and hold and bundle and cradle and never let know this lonely this guilt this shame this bad call not the worst it’s okay it’s okay. i love.

“And made of no special wood.” By Julia at her desk

Sunday April 1, 2018
10:40pm
5 minutes
Afterward
Mark Rudman

And maybe I should have turned around then, when he was pressing himself into me. Bending me over at the crease of my dress, his hands roaming in and out and around. Maybe I should have kissed him then, when he was busy wanting me. I didn’t do anything. I moaned a little. I liked how hard he got at the curve of me. In that moment, his desire was enough. I should have closed my eyes sooner, out of respect for him and for me. He couldn’t see my eyes, but they were scanning the backyard and the pigeon shit on the barbeque. He didn’t know that I was moaning a little on cue at the same time as deciding to change the tarp. Things take longer when the mind is wandering on the deck outside the window of romance. He told me he liked my dress and I told him I liked pretending to be his secretary. He let it slip that Joan’s hugged her hips a little tighter.

“And made of no special wood.” By Sasha at the Airbnb in Saskatoon

Sunday April 1, 2018
8:13am
5 minutes
Afterward
Mark Rudman

I have something that I need to tell you and I’ve been putting it off because I’m a scared scared person, but it’s all getting too much and so I need to – … Because you are more well-read and educated on all of this, and have spent so much more time in the world of climate change education, I notice that I often feel like I am being educated and explained to when we’re discussing the upcoming re-writing of Bill 1305. On the one hand, I love getting the education and so appreciate all of your knowledge and expertise! On the other hand, it can be disempowering and I leave these sessions feeling like I don’t know anything and don’t have a doctorate and can’t articulate half of what I want to say… Does that make sense? Am I even making any sense?

“People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” By Sasha at the Airbnb in Saskatoon

Saturday March 31, 2018
10:31am
5 minutes
A quote from Stephen Hawking

You are the first person at your gate again, and you sigh at your anal retentive control stuff for the seventeenth time since yesterday. You go into the corner and try not to be an asshole but really need to stretch, so you do a little bit of yoga. After all, even the gate staff haven’t arrived. You consider getting Starbucks even though you hate Starbucks. Something sweet even though you’re going to be sitting for two hours and have nothing to accomplish and don’t need caffeine. You sit on the floor and pull your phone out of your bag and check Instagram. You scroll scroll scroll scroll. You remember that you downed your water bottle before security and should re-fill it before boarding.

“I think you’re really mean” by Sasha at her desk

Friday March 30, 2018
11:04am
5 minutes
Not Fair
Lilly Allen

The rehearsal hall is hot. The air conditioning broke last week and the producer has “called the fix-it guy” but who knows what that even means. Lila and I are supposed to be in our corsets and rehearsal skirts but she’s trying to reason with Jerrod that there’s no way in hell we’re going to survive six hours of this heat in those costumes. Jerrod is one of those directors who is handsome and charming, and probably used to get a lot of actors into bed. Lila says that they made out once, when she was still in theatre school, but she wouldn’t let him come back to her apartment. She’s still got leverage with him though, I can tell.

“Let’s start at the top of scene six, beautiful people!” Jerrod says. Lila rolls her eyes.

“into an unmarked grave” by Sasha at the BMO Theatre Centre

Monday March 26, 2018
7:36pm
5 minutes
Alternate History
Bill Glose

It’s okay if all you want to do is eat corndogs and pick your scabby nails. It’s totally fine if you want to bite your toenails and only drink orange Gatorade. I’m not gonna judge you! I’m not ever gonna judge you. That’s not what roommate life is about. Seriously, Kyle.

Who am I to judge?! We all do weird shit, man. It’s part of being human. I’m just gonna put it out there that when I first moved out on my own, I stayed up until like five in the morning every damn day because I could. I get it. Eat the ice cream for breakfast! Do it! You’re a fucking grown man with his own bedroom in his own apartment that he pays for with his own money! GR-YAH!

“Bill and Madge” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday, March 25, 2018
8:42pm
5 minutes
The Wreck Up Ahead
Poe Ballentine

Bill and Madge meet in their fifties. Bill is younger by five years. Madge had been married once, fresh out of nursing school, but Lionel was a drinker and so she left after a year and a half. Bill had never been married. He’d lived with a woman once, Genevieve, in Montreal, in the 80’s. Bill was an illustrator, working mostly in children’s books and magazines. He’d been mostly successful, which is really something given that career path. Madge was a gardener, and then a midwife, and then a bread maker, and then a gardener again, and then an early childhood educator. She swears that she used to read her students books that Bill had drawn pictures for.

“Luke punched a boy” by Sasha on the walk home

Friday March 23, 2018
10:43pm
5 minutes
Two Moons
Debbie Urbanski

Luke punched Isaac. Isaac kicked Luke. Luke spit on Issac’s face. Isaac called Luke a bad word. Hillary called the Ms. Gregory. Ms. Gregory pulled the boys apart. Ms. Gregory loves her work but she does not love breaking up fights on the playground. That’s not why she’s here. If only Todd could’ve taken her recess duty and she could’ve enjoyed her salad with bacon. Luke runs at Isaac. Ms. Gregory has her back turned. Isaac screams. Hillary starts to cry. Ms. Gregory closes her eyes and thinks about Spring Break when she’ll go to Oahu. Ms. Gregory walks Luke and Isaac to Mr. Polanski’s office. Isaac’s been there before, many times, but Luke hasn’t.

“It’s always too soon to go home.” By Sasha in the bath

Thursday, March 22, 2018
11:35pm
5 minutes
Hope In The Dark
Rebecca Solnit

My sister makes a mean coconut curry. She roasts squash in the oven first, and then just when it’s starting to get sugary and brown, she throws it in the bubbling yellow. I haven’t had my sister’s curry in a while though. I don’t get home much. It’s not like it’s far, it’s not like I can’t, it’s just that I don’t, I won’t, I can’t.

My sister is a woman of few words. She’s almost a full foot shorter than me. She had a growth spurt in fifth grade and then stopped growing. She was the tallest for awhile and now she’s the shortest. That’s how it goes sometimes.

February is the month that I crave my sister’s curry. I wake up with the taste on my tongue, but it’s a ghost.

“Sometimes I can hear Harry’s voice” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
11:09am
5 minutes
#WeAreHarryChang
Thomas Lee

Sometimes I can hear Harry’s voice. Especially when I’m driving. Especially on the highway. Especially at night. Harry’s voice is just like it was – booming, deep, a bit of lilt to it, like at any moment he might break into some kind of dirge. He’s usually telling me to slow down, but the words he chooses are never, “Slow down.” He says something like,

“Beni, driving is best enjoyed with the window open and slow like molasses.”

Or,

“Slow and steady wins the race, my boy.”

When my Mom married Harry, I hated him. He was so big, and had baseball gloves for hands, or, that’s what I thought when I met him. I’d never seen someone so tall.

“God may have written” by Sasha at JJ Bean

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at JJ Bean Olympic Village
5:48pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Nancy Cartwright

God may have told you not to cross the desert but you didn’t listen. You went, alone, litres of water on your back. You didn’t take a camel. You didn’t want the company, the sounds, the chewing, the shit. God may have told you to call your landlord but you didn’t listen. You left without notifying your bank, your lover, your brother. You brought enough sunscreen to last you three months. That’s the thing you googled. “How much sunscreen does a red-head need for three months in the desert?” Google knew the answer. You might miss Google. You brought a book that you knew you wouldn’t mind reading and re-reading because you’ve read and re-read it already several times.

“Oh my god it HURTS!” By Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Wednesday March 7, 2018
8:31pm
The Stand
Stephen King

Hands on hips and butt naked Martha gives me a look like I’m never escaping. “But you lied to me!” She shouts at the top of her lungs.

“It’s a white lie…” I look at Billie, her mother, and Billie tries not to smile.

“I don’t even know what the is!” Martha wails.

“Why don’t you put on your pyjamas, sweetie,” says Billie and Martha slowly goes to her purple dresser and chooses a striped nightgown. It’s flannel. Billie made it.

“You’ve both really disappointed me,” Martha says, and we can’t help but laugh now. We laugh and laugh and then she laughs a bit too.

“Will you still give me a loonie? Even if the tooth fairy won’t? Can we pretend that she’s real? Just til I’m eight?”

Billie and I pinky swear.

“object of concentration” by Sasha at her desk

Friday, March 2, 2018
5:37pm
5 minutes
Ashtanga Yoga Primer
Baba Hari Dass

I keep telling Don that I don’t want anything to do with him but he will not leave me alone and this gives me no choice but to raise a glass tonight, at our Christmas party. Don, you psychotic mutherfucker, I almost admire only your tenacity and persistence. Almost. I almost wish I had your ability to completely ignore all signs, all cues, all “no’s” in pursuit of what I want. Almost. Ladies and gentlemen, actually – NO. Just the gentlemen in the room, because all of the women, even Helena who just turned eighty-two and is still working the switchboard, all of the women know that Don is a scumbag. Has he groped you by the coffee machine? Maybe invited you out to dinner and you thought that other people would be there, but nope, it’s just the two’s of you. Don, don’t look so shocked… you had to know that this was coming? The uprising? The reckoning?

“The only thing I can come up with” by Sasha sitting on her floor

Thursday, March 1, 2018
10:07pm
5 minutes
No Idea
Dana ID Matthews

The only thing I can come up with is

us dancing in the kitchen in the country
getting drunk and making a fire

The only thing I can come up with is

taking a bath in the clawfoot tub
and you sneaking photographs

I wonder what happened to those photographs
I wonder if they are under your bed
or if they are dead in a hard drive somewhere
or are they just negatives in a memory
somewhere between then and now
you and I

The only thing I can come up with is

you running into a friend
of a friend at Lee’s Palace
friend of a friend says my name
and you tap her on the shoulder and say

“She’s one of the loves of my life”

“wedding bells at the airport” by Sasha at the Diamond Centre

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
8:47am
5 minutes
recovery
jessie read

Dev asked me to marry him in the bathroom at the airport. We were in one of those family bathrooms, where you’re only supposed to go if you have a baby or something. We don’t have one of those yet, but we needed to change into warmer clothes as we were still in our shorts and t-shirts. He said we didn’t have much time, that our connecting flight was leaving in under an hour and he wanted to eat something before getting back in the sky. He’s a man of few words, my Dev, so you should know that before I keep going. We were both in that bathroom, and all of a sudden he’s down on his knees and he’s crying. I’m like, “Dev, what the heck is wrong with you?” And, “Get up right now, this place is nasty!”

And then he looks up at me with those brown eyes all filled with tears and he says, “Gillian Larissa Warrington, will you marry me?”

I don’t know why he had to do it there, I never asked him and I never will because I don’t want him to think I thought it any less special. Who needs a fancy restaurant!

“for what little he had left” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
Ordinary
Curtis LeBlanc

This place is good for my pen obsession. Roller tip, flowing ink, black, fine, blue, turquoise. Anytime I’m here, in the copy room, I have to be careful that I don’t get sticky fingers. That’s what Da used to call it, when me or one of the twins would pinch something at the corner store. “How’d ya get those sticky fingers, hey?” He’d say, shaking his big head. “Wasn’t from me, that’s fer sure,” he’d scold us and make us bring the thing back and then Mrs. Dowers would crouch down and look us in the eyes and say,

“Stealing is the devil’s work.” She’d be smiling a little, got some sort of sick pleasure out of tormenting the little ones. Fear of God in us, it’s be months before we pinched something again… at least Tyler, it’d be months before Tyler did. Me and Jim were good, it only took one of those talks.

“Use your body to be the tent” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
8:42pm
5 minutes
Nest Filled
Kim Stafford

When the kettle boils
I make a cup of tea
too late for black but
I do it anyway

I sit down at my desk
and tonight that means
the kitchen table
sweet with rounded corners
the tea
and the table

my body becomes a tent
chair legs
and my legs
fingers typing
toes tapping
tea steaming
you on my mind
you in the bones of
so many of these poems

I’ve written three lines
of your birthday card

my heart hurt
sunrise to sunset
my heart hurt
the first year in
many that I haven’t
sung to you
written to you
loved you from close up
loving you from far away
is teaching me about
womanhood
courage
softness
time

Our language is this
five minute stories
I’ll set the timer
force myself to keep going
even though now
with this
then
with this
words don’t ever seem to be
enough
always seem to be too much

too little
too late

that always seems to be the problem

Snow falls outside the window

“Near Middle: for “Devilish woman,” by Julia at her desk

Saturday February 17, 2018
7:04pm
5 minutes
Errata and Addenda
Rachaela Van Borek

Can’t tell her the truth even though that’s what we both promised we’d do.
When she tells me hers, she apologizes a month later and says, “Maybe when
you asked what I thought that night I shouldn’t have answered at all.”
I tell her “No, you should have, I want you to be honest with me,”
but I don’t know if that’s just because I don’t know what else to say.
I have some ideas about the questions she doesn’t ask me and
I know I can’t tell her what I think so I agree inside that maybe she is right.
A blanket gets thrown at me when I look cold but feel sweaty.
That’s probably on account of all the discomfort.
Some people sweat when they lie.
I put it on my toes and count the minutes before the pizza arrives.
Maybe when we’re eating we will have less time to peer into each other’s
souls and risk ruining a perfectly good family.
Suddenly her phone rings and she answers it in the middle of my good story.
She covers the receiver, tells me that our mother is frying shrimp dumplings again and asks if I want any.
I tell her to tell her yes.
She tells our mother we’ll be right over.
When she hangs up she shakes her head.
“Not sure what Mom is doing making dumplings at midnight.”
“Not sure what Mom is doing thinking we all still live in the same time zone.”

“Near Middle: for “Devilish woman,” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday February 17, 2018
12:22
5 minutes
Errata and Addenda
Rachaela Van Borek

She reaches into her pocket and there’s a melting Hershey’s kiss, six fifty in change, a receipt for a mini bottle of vodka, and lip chap that she’s scraped out using her pinkie nail. This is the state of her life. This is what she deserves. This is forty-two. She pulls her hand out. Step back.

She caught his eye in the elevator that first time only because that one asshole who had to stand facing the opposite direction. It’s eight thirty in the morning, dingus. Now is not the time for a social experiment. He’d smiled. He’s gorgeous. She’d blushed. Game over.

She packs her desk up into a banker’s box – lemon hand cream, a framed photo of her nephew, her BOSS mug, the succulent that’s hanging on by a thread. Is that what it’s come to? Step back.

He texts her and says that he’s thinking of her. He’s on a beach in Playa del Carmen. His kids are probably squishing guacamole all over his torso. His wife is probably emerging from the ocean, tan and beautiful.

“moths drift from the trees” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday February 9, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
Al’s House
Lorna Crozier

I was a sailor once.
I was a mermaid once.
I was an exploding star.
I was a grieving angel.
I was a piece of dust caught
in the bellybutton of a lost boy.
I was a moth once.
I was a good liar.
I was a red stamp
on immigration papers.
I was a banana farmer.
I was a rock star.
I was a bluejay.
I was a fawn that
only survived one spring.
I was a grandmother.
I was a grapefruit.
I was a good listener.
I was a criminal.
I was an exile.
I was a shaman.
I was a lover.
I was the last page of
a library book.
I was a pair of kitchen scissors.
I was Shakespeare’s daughter.
I was a lamb.
I was a killer.
I was a shadow
stretching across the sky.

“barely do I sense that faint tug” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday February 7, 2018
7:13am
5 minutes
Hiking With My Shadow
Don McKay

Mimi makes the chocolate birthday cake for Don’s birthday. She mixes wet and dry. Stirs in eggs and oil. She meticulously follows her mother’s recipe. It’s Don’s favourite cake. She’ll make the frosting and ice the cake tomorrow, right before the party.

“Mimi?” Don’s home early.

“I’m in the kitchen.” Of course she is. He knows that’s where to find her. She whisper calls, because Jonah’s napping.

“Mimi, it’s Dad. He’s in the hospital in Calgary and I have to go right away.”

“We’ll come with you…” She’s already taking off her apron.

“No, no… There’s no point. He’ll probably be dead by the time I get there.”

“I’ve been hiding who I am” by Sasha at her desk

Monday February 5, 2018
7:06am
Sisterly Love
Elise Pallagi

I get tired of your texts at twenty to eleven. I want to shut my phone off, but I can’t because I’m addicted. I get tired but I want them, and when they don’t come I’m twitchy and sad. I run a bath and then my phone beeps and I’m up and out of there making puddles across the hardwood. Shit. I’m addicted. You aren’t clever in your seduction. I never thought I’d sink this low. Shit. When did my standards get so low? “I’ll be over in an hour.” It’s like my thumbs have a mind of their own. Good grief. Quarter to midnight and I’ll be riding the elevator up to tenth floor. Your door will be open a crack.

“Ninety pounds.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday February 4, 2018
7:04pm
5 minutes
T is for Texas
Derek McCormack

Hardly ninety pounds soaking wet, Kenny didn’t have a friend ’til he met Burl. It’s not like Burl had a softball team waiting to eat lunch with him or anything, but he did have Henrietta so that’s something.

Henrietta did not like Kenny from the moment she met him. Something about a boy in sweatpants just got her goat. When he walked over to her and Burl, acting like he belonged, she wrinkled her forehead and looking back and forth from Kenny to Burl like she was watching a badminton match. Silly birdie.

“Hi Burl.”

“Hi Kenny.”

“Would you like to come over and play after school today? My brother has chess, and Joan would rather not have to entertain me.”

Anyone who calls their mother by her first name cannot be trusted, thought Henrietta, picking the lettuce out of her salami sandwich.

“handed down mother to daughter” by Sasha on the 33

Friday February 2, 2018
6:29pm
5 minutes
Without Mercy
Howard Wright

We weren’t ever really sure where she came from. Just arrived one day, with diamond eyes and the reddest hair you’ve ever seen. She didn’t knock on the door, just stood outside it til Allen went out to milk the cows. She barely said a word. Got by on shaking her head and little grunts, like a goat. Mama put up posters in town, at Pharmacy and the General Store, almost as if she were a stray. No one claimed her though, so we kept her around. She never smiled. She baked the most delicious biscuits. We called her Red, and I think she liked that. Never told us her real name.