“Still coughing” by Julia at her desk

Friday November 22, 2019
5:04pm
5 minutes
From a text

Bitsy’s brother clears his throat over the phone and it is the worst sound he makes.
It is the worst sound to hold there in the ear, without warning, right there.
He doesn’t know how loud it is, or how frequent, and telling him now after all
these years might be hard. Might be hard to say, Listen I Love you but your throat-clearing
is aggressive. My Bro, I love you, but you just need to pull the phone a little bit away
from your mouth when you feel one coming on. Listen I love you.
He’s not coughing anymore which is good. Now he believes he has to clear it even if there’s
nothing really there. It’s a trick of the mind. The old sickness still clinging.

“Yes, that’s what you’ve told me to do.” By Julia in Kettle Valley

Friday June 28, 2019
5:35pm
5 minutes
Dipped from a dream

I wait by the foot of the stairs because I hear your steps, softly
Beyond another life and yet
you do not make your way down
the hall and down to me
and maybe this is the last time I will think quietly that you might
I have been carrying you gently from year to year and not much has changed
Or if substantial is a measurement then nothing has
I wish to not be carrying you as if you might whisper into the cracks of my hands something I will remember
Something like the velvet of your ear lobe between my thumb and forefinger or the thicker skin on your neck that ties your skull and backbone together
Something I won’t even try to forget Something exactly like that

“and a quiet evening sipping whiskey” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday September 12, 2018
7:02am
5 minutes
Mr. Bright Eyes
John Barton

He calls and tells me that he misses me. I want to hear it from the one who hasn’t been drinking whiskey, the one who wakes up and washes the dishes, the one who plays basketball with the lanky teenagers in the courts by the community centre. I always said that I’d wait for you. I always said that I’d be able to. Now, though, it feels as though time moves faster and people are dying, and being born, and how are we wasting time on things that aren’t true? He calls and tells me that he misses me and I pull the phone away from my ear so that he can’t hear the catch in my throat, the tiny “me too,” the deep breath, the tear rolling down towards my upper lip.