“I would have missed so many smells” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
6:10pm
5 minutes
Ode to My 1977 Toyota
Barbara Hamby

I imagine that more poetry is being read aloud
and more people are saying “I love you”
More baths are being run
and shared
More parents are playing with their kids
actually playing
getting down on the floor and being alligators and fairies and brave

They say that the canals in Venice are crystal clear
and deer are walking the streets of Tokyo

In the breaking down of everything we know
something new
a shoot of green from frozen ground
a smile with a neighbour who I’ve walked past many times
my baby sleeping tucked in my coat
her baby sleeping tucked in hers

I listen to the sound of my heartbeat
the sound of my husband talking on the phone

the sound of my father’s footsteps walking up the stairs
the sound of my neighbour on her porch smoking a cigarette
the sound of the bus accelerating up the street
heartbeat these sounds
their own rhythm of here
now

I imagine that more bread is being baked
more songs are being sung along to
more phone calls are being made to grandparents
and long lost siblings and friends who felt a bit forgotten

“You can see my baby’s heartbeat” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie

Wednesday January 29, 2020
11:33am
5 minutes
The Kingdom of God
Teddy Macker

I meet your heartbeat when I meet my own
hands on swollen belly
twenty weeks
twenty weeks of you

I shriek the whole way to the lab
I have to pee so bad
And your dad goes over speedbumps slowly
takes turns slowly
I scream
He tries to curb his laughter

My heart was racing in a way
I’d never known
Knowing you were there
but also doubting
I don’t do that anymore
When I know I know
You teach me that

”It’s your first” the technician says
and I nod and she says she always knows
Let’s me pee half way
Smiles
Having seen it all before

Tears on my cheeks as I meet your black and white image
on the screen
I know you in the ancient way that feet know ground
I know your sweetness
your grace
your eyebrow raise
knowing smile

Lola Moon
Nine months old
My life’s greatest joy
is being your mother
My life’s greatest work
is doing well by you
and failing you
and doing well by you again

“half-way dressed” by Julia in R’s studio

Wednesday May 15, 2019
7:20am
5 minutes
Peer Pressure
James Bay Ft. Julia Michaels

There’s a sugar cube in your voice
All the words you don’t say
you’re humming to me, baby, I can feel it
and I want you to want me this way forever

There’s nothing I’d rather do, skin on skin
with our built in heating system
want to keep our sweat kissing forever, babe

This shirt is leaving after this sentence
yours on the floor like they’re keeping each other company
I want to hear your heartbeat in my sleep
clock strikes another minute spent in
this moment wanting only you

Take my mouth and fill it with your favourite
song, sing into my tongue with the slow
burn you’re famous for
If I could find this in the afterlife
I would take you with me and leave everything
else behind, babe

Take my smooth and find your place in it
I’ll be waiting
I’ll be right here in it

“scratched plastic Fisher Price drum set” by Julia on her couch

Saturday March 2, 2019
9:10pm
5 minutes
(Lady)bug
Ilyssa Goldsmith

It was hard to read about the babies she found laying on the floor with dog shit. I read the case notes on some of these households and decided maybe this social work stuff isn’t for everyone. Maybe I’m not strong enough to witness that. I think I’d want to get too personal, with them, you know? Ask them if anyone’s hugged them lately from the bottom of their hearts and waited the requisite 6 seconds to synch up the heartbeats. I would want to sit there all day and say I’m here, okay, for you, I’m here right now and I have nowhere else to be. I’d bring them a gift basket and say it’s just what I do for everyone. Or maybe I do it for everyone. See the resources right now don’t allow for any kind of extraneous measures. No radical acts of kindness and those workers are fighting fires that won’t ever go out. They’re tired. They don’t have time for everybody.

“Could have walked by now” by Julia on the 2 bus


Sunday December 4, 2016
7:58pm
5 minutes
overheard on Burrard street

I’ve been waiting for a bus for a whole year. No that is not hyperbole. I would never exaggerate. I have been standing in this spot for 365 days waiting. My life has passed me by. My heart has pumped as many times as it should in a year. 50 million times. That is accurate. I felt each one. I remember each one. No that is not hyperbole. I’ve waited and I’ve stood. I didn’t want to miss it if it came. The bus that would take me from Here to There and finally give me the peace I’ve been after. Every time I checked the schedule it said the bus was coming in one minute. One minute is not long. I waited for one minute 500 000 times. Of course that is not hyperbole. Every moment I stood there I considered myself a little better. A little more. I know myself in this context of waiting better than I know myself in other contexts, such as running, or laughing. People passed me by and no one spoke to me. Not one person. They either assumed that I had already gotten my bus and travelled to a place and back by now all in time to do it all over again. No one thought to say, oh you, you’re here today as well? How are you? Do you have to go far?

“become the master” by Sasha at her desk


Monday October 21, 2013
12:52am
5 minutes
the back of the Curl Keeper bottle

I want to know what you named the mole on your mother’s back and how you take your tea. I want to know the sound of your sleep. When we meet, you’re wearing a smart jacket and an expression like you’ve just landed. I’m teetering in too-tall shoes and laughing too hard at a too lame joke. I instantly want to know what colour socks you’re wearing and I get the thrill of my young life when I catch a glimpse of them, as you cross your legs, sipping on a whiskey. Blue and red. Striped. I want to become a master of you, to know every scar and every pet peeve, to know where you’re ticklish and what your voice does when you’re grumpy. I want to meet your big toe and your heartbeat. I want to know all the jobs you’ve worked. I want to know the name of the street that you grew up on.