“I cried during the silent walking meditation” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday October 15, 2019
7:19pm
Reunion
Halina Larman

Alice left Jim on a Wednesday. It was a long time coming. At least that’s what everyone said. It wasn’t dramatic. It was deliberate and soft. She had packed a black suitcase, as she knew that she needed to actually leave, not just figuratively leave. The suitcase had been Alice’s mother’s. It was worn on the bottom corner, but still zipped up. Their other suitcases, stored in the basement next to the box of Christmas ornaments and wrapping paper, belonged to Jim. At least she thought they did. It was the division of things that most overwhelmed her. Not the conversation, the “leaving” conversation. The division of their items, their life, parsed out in “I’ll take the immersion blender and you take the coffee grinder?” The older Alice got the more she didn’t care for things that she could turn on, hold in her hand, or cart around. She cared for the feeling of her blood pressure lowering, the October wind bringing her closer to herself.

“There are points of high silence” by Julia at her desk

Thursday September 19, 2019
8:38pm
5 minutes
The Lawyer
Carl Sandburg

In the severance of us, the split ship
one half now sinking and I play the part

Did you ever know me the way you said
you would, or were you filling pockets

of space with words, spiked, a quiet
fizz into the drink and I’m none the wiser

Who said it first? Don’t speak if you…
Don’t speak if you can’t…

The pebble in my throat throbs on and
in the morning, waking to find that

I did in fact swallow this painful pit,
that this is no dream, that you did go

On the wall, the grease of your fingertips,
tracks of your talking forevers but no body attached,

no hands

no arms

Were you changing the air with all the
great ideas, and who said it first?

Don’t speak if you can’t improve
the silence

“Spoons our fingers” by Julia on The Lost Chair

Sunday September 8, 2019
8:32pm
5 minutes
After Love
Maxine Kumin

Fine is the last thing I say in anger
and Bye is the last thing you say in jest
but you think I’m joking and I have no real
reason to be mad at you other than I have
stopped picking my face (okay yesterday was
the last time) and need to pick at something
so the control can lie to me a little bit.

I’m mad because I thought I made a good point
and you said you know what I mean and then
that was that. Spoons as fingers, we were
crossed wires and I caught you in the act.
You thought I wouldn’t notice that you didn’t
have any words to come back to me with, that
you shrank into a small hole and thought I
couldn’t see you there running away from me.

I am mad because I want to love you but
sometimes you say you’re here but you’re not
here and I don’t know where you go. I don’t
know where in your mind you are and I know it’s
none of my business and none of mt business
but I want to know where is better than here;
where is the place you’d rather be than in
this moment with me, with my good points,
with my nice legs.

I’m sitting here not waiting for you to come
back but angry at you for leaving and you better
know I know the difference. That I can feel you
drifting off from a mile away.

“I was so amazed” by Julia at her desk

Saturday September 7, 2019
3:19pm
5 minutes
Feasting
Elizabeth W. Garber

The plants on the window sill drooped as the door shut behind you.
We didn’t ask for such living things to care for and there we were
with thumbs turning green, scooping soil out of bags and into pots.

The wilting started when you had your second shoe on.
I didn’t see it happen but I knew, the way a soft gaze lets you see
the entire room without blinking, or braiding a second without letting go.

You held my cheeks in your hands as if you hadn’t handled the roots
of what we were sowing with such promise of tomorrow.
I believed you by the cup of your palm and I believe you now.

You are not beholden to me the way this plant is not obliged to live forever.
I wouldn’t expect anything to stay for eternity, but the pain comes from
wanting so badly for you to.

I was amazed at the breeze left inside the room after the smell of you
had dissipated gently into the ceiling. I thought you would cling to the
window screens but you were small enough to pass through even those.

“Slicing lake Ontario” by Julia at her desk

Sunday August 11, 2019
8:27pm
5 minutes
Catastrophe that Nearly Brought Down a Plane
Sabyasachi Nag

Darling tonight did you hear me ask you
a less than hypothetical question about
our children and about the future that
might show you just how much I’ve thought
about these things?

You didn’t seem to clock it and that
didn’t bother me then but it’s bothering
me now and I wished I had said, Excuse me
did you hear what I said about our kids
without you leading the charge?

These are moments for me to reflect on
by myself I suppose, because did I say
it out of truth gargling against my cheeks
or did I say it out of poetry and the
persistent chase of perfect phrases?

Are you changing your mind now that
I’ve got mine on straight? It would be so
sad after all this time if we had found
ourselves on different pages again. It
might break my heart into weapons.

I think about this future family of
ours and where the hell are they going
to live? In this one bedroom apartment?
In this city that you said yourself might be
too soft for them and for us and everything.

“Slicing lake Ontario” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday August 11, 2019
7:30pm
5 minutes
Catastrophe that Nearly Brought Down a Plane
Sabyasachi Nag

We’ll fly east in nineteen days
over the mountains that grew us
over the peaks that destroyed us
We’ll fly above the colours and
the clouds above the petty
grievances and the monumental hurts

We’re leaving a place we’ve known as home
five years of loving and living
of making art and granola and love
We’re leaving a place we’ve kissed
and bled and thanked and known
where our girl was born
the greatest feat of all

We’ll fly towards family
towards whatever roots are left
towards who knows really now that
everything is upside down
Secure the mask of the person next to you
I wish that was the case

All I know is I need the pressure of
my father’s hand
on my back
when he embraces me
My mother’s salad dressing
My sister’s eyes

We’ll slice over Lake Ontario
towards a speckled sky

“Little wallet multicolour has zip” by Sasha in her chair

Saturday June 29, 2019
12:03pm
5 minutes
from and old text from my dad

You should see me – bouncing on a big blue ball, in a blue dress, my two month old blue-eyed daughter wrapped to my body, her little breath rising and falling against my breath rising and falling. We breathe together, her and I, did for ten months and still do now that she’s out. The soundtrack of sawing, as usual. The house across the street has been under construction since we moved in two years ago. Or was it three years ago? I don’t have a good memory for years. I do have a good memory for feelings.

This is me getting my fingers back in shape, my wordsmith tools sharpened. It’s been a long time… Why do I leave you, dearest and most loyal friend? I need you, but I leave you. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. Maybe that explains something.

“This song.” by Julia on her couch

Monday March 11, 2019
6:01pm
5 minutes
Freedomland
Richard Price

Might be the thing I tell you
Might be the first thing I say
Baby you’re not going to well up
Your eyes don’t work that way
Might be the thing you remember
Might be the last thing you hear
Darlin’ I can’t stop myself thinking
That I’ll be the one shedding these tears
Some of these days will be dipped in summer’s haze and we won’t be able to see the cracks
But when it gets cold and the winter wind blows, we’ll be left with all of the cruel facts
Might be the thing I tell you
Might be the first thing I say
I wish it were different but now I’m a lingerin’ even though I cannot stay
I’ll miss you the most in the mornin
Cause that’s where our bodies would meet
These blankets with only me will get so lonely without you beside me

“the snow falling like confetti.” By Julia in her bed

Wednesday February 20, 2019
10:31pm
5 minutes
The First Morning
Edward Abbey

I can’t ask you to stay cause then you’d know I thought of you leaving
And the truth is, swear to God, dot my I, i didn’t know what you going would do to me. I thought I might never recover. The thought alone could kill me. But I don’t want to put the idea in your head now. We are happy. Don’t think about it at all, no need to invite excuses to this party. Ups and downs baby. Ups and downs. I watched you leave in my mind like lightly falling snow, disappearing into the leaves. Dissolving into the wind.
It was soft the way a gentleman would do it. And it still broke my heart all the same.

“As the cab works its way” by Julia on the 2

Monday January 28, 2019
6:06pm
5 minutes
Hello, Goodbye
Brady Emerson’s

Cab driver is talking my ear off on the way to the airport. It’s 3am, he must be lonely. I am leaving this city and I’m not going to look back. Do I tell him that? Do I say, listen, I tried my best, I worked hard, I made out with a stranger on my softball team? I don’t know what else I could have done. Maybe committed to the white walls in my apartment, hung a plant or two on the balcony. I never did end up going to the Indian place I said I wanted to try. Do I say, listen, some cities don’t fit the way you think the way expensive shirts get donated to Goodwill when they don’t slim your shoulders as promised. Do I say, I am too tired and angry and mad at myself to talk to you right now?

“As the cab works its way” by Sasha at her desk

Monday January 27, 2019
4:01pm
5 minutes
Hello, Goodbye
Brady Emerson

As the cab works it’s way around the corner, I press my face up to the glass. Mama will make me clean it with vinegar and newspaper. She always knows when it’s me and when it’s Bailey. The dog doesn’t have to clean up after himself, but he gets put in the laundry room until he whines enough that Mama feels bad. Daddy packed a larger suitcase than usual so I asked him how long he’d be gone for this time. “Not sure, honeybunch,” he said, sad like the day Grampa Jones died. How he could not be sure, I don’t understand but I shouldn’t have to given that I’m only just starting Grade Four. Mama knows that Daddy might be gone until the snow comes, so she hugs Bailey in bed for a long time and I have peanut butter and jelly for dinner.

“I imagine him alive.” By Julia in her bed

Monday January 21, 2019
9:28pm
5 minutes
Stories We Keep To Ourselves
Bill Glose

I imagine him alive with dark hair covering his tiny little head
He has a perfect face
Maybe a few years from now he’ll need glasses just like you
His dark hair transforms into light hair later like mine does in the sun
You are holding him and cooing in his face and everything is sweet now
I keep him alive by not leaving him
That is my only job
I picture him loving me before he leaves home
Some of them only realize how much has been done for them after they build their bed behind walls that no one can wonder against
He is kind to insects and birds
He is funny because of you and only you
From me he learns how to hum
From me he learns how to weep
From me he learns how to stare into the nothingness past the room and bright noise
You smile extra hard these days

“skin hanging from a chicken soup bone.” by Julia desk

Wednesday January 9, 2019
8:51pm
5 minutes
Tuesdays With Morrie
Mitch Albom

If ever you should leave me, leave a note in your hand
by the bedside where you slept with your mouth open and
if ever you should leave me, do not go before you say
what goes in your mother’s bone broth soup in case I get sick one day
Because without you I don’t know if I’ll be able to
go on in my usual cadence, whistling simply will not do
I will be sad and lonely, and the house will be so quiet
your laughter will not fill it, how I wish I’d learned to file it
If ever you should leave me, don’t forget to mention Sweet,
where all the toilet paper is in case there is none left by the seat
I will miss your generosity, and where you stored the sieve,
I’ll be so lost without you, I won’t know how I will live

“She shook her head helplessly.” by Julia on Amanda’s couch

Thursday December 20, 2018
10:42pm
5 minutes
Solaris
Stanislaw Lem

I don’t know why I can’t just leave him. I love him. Maybe I don’t. I have to love him don’t I? 30 years I’ve lived in that house, am I supposed to suddenly pick up and move? I don’t know why he doesn’t help me. All of our financial problems are because he won’t. I’ve asked him. I’ve tried to ask him but it’s not that easy, Sweetie. Nothing is ever easy for me. You know, I had this dream where I was climbing this huge staircase. These massive spiraled stairs and I was climbing them, climbing them, but I couldn’t go anywhere. And I could see at the top there was this beautiful castle. It was all the way at the top and I was climbing, sweatting, aching, and no matter what I did I couldn’t make it. All I wanted was to reach it and I was stuck right there.

“as I grow old and my friends leave me.” by Julia on the couch

Thursday July 19, 2018
1:30am
5 minutes
Psalms For Praying
Nan C. Merrill
As I grow old my friends leave me wanting them more
I get cravings for their hearts to soar
And for their souls to laugh
I want nothing more than their rise
Their absolute and inevitable rise.
And my friends leave me.
They leave me when I have stopped needing them
They leave when I am no longer hunting them
They know I do not stay loyal on only one shoulder
Carry the weight of knowing them on both
I want to be your last leaving friend
And you can let me love you that way

“The American imagination” by Julia on the sky train

Friday June 8, 2018
12:03pm
5 minutes
Poetic Justice an Interview with Camille T. Dungy 
Airica Parker

The imagination there is big, he says
Big and bold and brassy and big
Every day a new phone call telling me how much closer he is to being big too
The ceiling is high, the sky is higher, and the people know how to help each other be extraordinary
This is a dream sequence that I am replaying: people helping people
Not so afraid of someone else’s greatness that they need to throw stones at them until they fall off
To think of the inventors and chefs
The writers and the football players
The American imagination plays like the movies that are big enough to be made there
I don’t know what they think of us
Maybe that we’re polite pushovers
Maybe that we know how to apologize for things instead of owning them
They might not think of our country at all
I didn’t really either
Until I thought about leaving it

“Thanks guys” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday May 30, 2018
11:00pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Oak St.

I know you’re leaving when I see the bowl of left over tuna salad in the fridge.
This is what it looks like when you go away.
No more cooking big meals in case you don’t get a chance to eat them.
Butt ends of broccoli and too few mushrooms to make a difference.
I think our mouths have been meeting in our sleep again.
You are saying goodbye with every dream I think I’m having.
In the morning it is still dark and you are half beside me, half out the door.
Who do I thank for giving you wings when they are breaking my heart?
Do I blame it on the big men in the big buildings in the big city?
In the quiet of our goodbye, you’re the one who says you’re sorry.
I am so happy for you.
It hasn’t even been a full day yet.

“Flying Housewife” by Julia on the 4

Saturday April 28, 2018
10:58pm
5 minutes
www.independent.co.uk

She has wings

Her hands know how to flutter at the end of her arms
Watch how she keeps herself up
Watch how she treads the deepest air

She is getting things done

Busy busy flying throughout the house before her wife comes home because her wife is the only one who leave the house little bird stays inside floats in the living room
Above the coffee table hovering along the shelves lined with baby photographs she is cleaning up the disagreements the mirrors collecting dust in all the ghosts of her lipstick affirmations she is keeping things tidy for when her wife comes home because she doesn’t leave so what excuse does she have not to have the house clean for when she arrives

She moves quickly to avoid getting stuck

She keeps her wings flapping
So she will be ready to use them

“Then it went shooting back from the window.” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday April 10, 2018
12:45pm
5 minutes
Pope Hats
Ethan Rilly

I think it was a raven, you said it was a crow. Either way we’re both inside the house, close to the maple candied pecans, and not planning on leaving to prove the other one wrong. I love Sundays. You don’t make me put on pants, and I don’t make you put down your gingerale. We argue about which birds are hanging out on our back porch, but we’re not angry. We’re not anything that is not easy. Easy as Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon! We’ve got scrambled eggs and chocolate eggs! We’ve got rich cheeses and no place to be-ses! When the sun sets we don’t miss the day. We say hello to the stars from the couch and we count commercials instead of hours. We put on something more comfortable than before. We’ve earned the night. We rest like it’s the last day before you leave again. And it is the last day before you leave again. We do not waste a second.

“stinking up the bedsheets” by Julia at her desk

Monday April 9, 2018
9:15pm
5 minutes
Lonely
Z. Da Costa

I noticed crumbs in the bed yesterday morning
they belong to both of our feet
both of our pajama pants
I don’t know
I don’t hate it
But this lonely has been stinking up the bed sheets
and I know that it only belongs to me
that the nights left unslept are mine
but they’re because of you
I don’t think you will mind sharing this custody
I think your bed has fewer crumbs in it
but it is more empty
I have never been there and left it
I have never rolled my day’s lint at the bottom of your sheets
and then made you sleep alone in it
I noticed your side of the bed doesn’t dip as much
maybe this haunting was all part of your master plan

“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.

“If we changed the rules of our games” by Sasha at work

Friday January 26, 2018
12:13pm
5 minutes
The Mercy Seat
Norman Ravvin

A: I’m movin’ on, B! So get the fuck outta my way!

B: I will not.

A: MOVE.

B: Nope.

A: MOVE!

B: I can’t let you go. If you go then I’ll be –

A: That isn’t my problem anymore. I’m movin’ on!

B: But I love you…

A: Too bad.

B: Come on.

A: No!

B: Come on, A –

A: I’ve heard it all before. I’ve heard every stupid asshole cliche. I’ve heard your excuses, and your lies and your bullshit. I’m movin’ on!

B: Okay. Okay. Okay.

A: Great. Bye. Thanks for the good times and fuck you VERY much for the bad times.

B: What has gotten into you?

A: I have finally come to my senses! I’m feeling like a fucking goddess right now!

“it’s the ending that keeps me in my chair.” By Sasha in her bed

Thursday January 18, 2018
11:52pm
5 minutes
Memoir
Sue Goyette

I don’t know why you’re yelling but it must be because you’re afraid I won’t hear you so I just keep breathing deep and imagining that you’re not yelling and that you know that I can hear you very clearly.

Funnily enough it’s harder to actually get what you’re saying when you’re yelling at least for me and maybe that’s because I have very sensitive ears and I don’t like loud music loud talkers loud chewers anything loud really.

Not sure when you’ll stop yelling but it’s certainly not when I ask you it’s certainly not when I ask you I absolutely ask you several times.

So I just leave not in an angry way not in a way that says that I’m not coming back just in the kind of way that says I asked you and you kept going and I said that I couldn’t take it and then you kept going so.

“Calls of guilty thrown at me” by Julia at her desk

Monday November 27, 2017
9:24pm
5 minutes
Cherry Wine
Hozier

If it weren’t for the husk of corn left in the sink
the distinct sting between us: barbed wire, fenceless,
I wouled have decided to stay.
Instead I left and gave you the buzzing shell
still hot from the guilt of not saying goodbye.
You didn’t know the absence well enough.
You knew the actor, she was brilliant.
On nights like Tuesday and 6pm
the space hung in the kitchen is never
big enough for the both of us.
On nights like these you mmm
too easily at the kiss of me.
You always start speaking right
in the middle
of my hand trying to write you.

“It was a wild weekend” by Sasha at Casa Violeta

Friday, October 13, 2017
10:16pm
5 minutes
From cnn.com

It was a wild weekend, let me tell you. Alejandra and I went to that unmarked bar, the one that everyone’s been talking about, I mean who knows what the name actually is, not me. Not Ale. We ordered mojitos! They grind the sugarcane juice right there, right in front of you, it’s like, too cool. Ale was flirting pretty hard with the bartender and I was just kind of like, watching that. We drank a few drinks and then we started dancing and it was the best night, totally the best. Ale wanted to go after the bartender told her he’s married, she wanted to leave. I was not ready to leave, but whenever I’m ready to leave someplace and Ale isn’t she’s super nice about it and doesn’t make it seem like I’m being a granny or anything.

“my flight leaves for Edmonton” by Sasha in the Kiva


Thursday June 8, 2017
11:18pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre

“It’s okay if you want to cry. I can see that you’re – ”

“I’m not going to cry.” Dan smacks my hand away from his face.

His flight leaves in three hours and we haven’t decided if I’m taking him to the airport or he’s going in a taxi. Public transit is now no longer an option.

“I could still come with you?” I look at my toes.

“No. No… I need to do this alone,” he says, finally making eye contact. Tears brimming.

“Why won’t you let me support you?” I try not to sound like I’m asking something of him. Everyone is asking something of him.

“I’m trying, Gem, but it’s just like – … I don’t even know what I need so how am I supposed to tell you what I – …”

His phone rings. It’s Joanne, his stepmother. Everything in the room gets very still

“”when you sign up” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday April 22, 2017
7:00pm
5 minutes
From the Aeroplan flyer

It’s fine, like, if… if you want to come over before you go? I won’t be mad… like last time? I wasn’t seeing people, anyone, I wasn’t seeing anyone last month. It wasn’t personal. I didn’t go out. Thank fuck for those grocery delivery services. Did you know that Save On does it now? You can shop from your bed in your pyjamas. Come over… okay? Even if it’s for ten minutes. I have something I want to give you. I don’t know when I’m gonna see you next and I really just want to – … I’m not going to tell you what it is, but you’re going to want it. Trust me. Ah… It’s Mom’s bracelet, okay! I have it! I didn’t lose it in New Mexico, I have it, I didn’t want you to… I’m sorry. Fuck. I’m sorry.

“Sad to see you go” by Julia at her desk


Friday February 17, 2017
11:40pm
5 minutes
from a Goodbye card

I didn’t realize you were leaving when you left
You forgot to say Goodbye or Sad To Leave You
forgot to mourn the loss of me
I wish too for lesser consequence

I do not own another recourse
my heart is broken
and it was the only one I had to begin with

You might not notice how long it takes
for a heart to heal when some peices
never get returned

I blame newness
I blame adventure or the lust for it

“the channeling of heavenly love” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday November 8, 2016
7:51am
5 minutes
sunnyray.org

But of course he’ll leave before we resolve anything because he wasn’t meant to stay. He didn’t pack anything for overnight. He didn’t bring a toothbrush or his stamina to fight. He didn’t want to get cozy in the curve of me because he was afraid he would want to stay and he couldn’t stay. He had already committed to his other life and I was not welcome in that one. I had to ask him, Why Did You Come Back Then? And he told me, I Felt A Pull On My Heart Like I Was A Puppet and I Couldn’t Lead My Own Way. I asked, What Kind Of Pull? A Cosmic One? The Kind You Have In A Dream? He told me, It Was The Channeling of Heavenly Love And It Made Me Want To Find The Source. But of course he’ll leave before we both understand what that means, and of course he won’t consider that the source is quite obviously me.

“Packing planner checklist” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday June 15, 2016 at Starbucks
7:35am
5 minutes
from the Uhaul website

I think T-Lite said she’d meet us at the train station but she didn’t say what time. If she doesn’t show up, we’re screwed, but I don’t want to tell that to Roy yet. He still thinks we’re escaping this place on some magic carpet, flying far far away. I look up at the departure board and Santa Monica has one coming up, the next one not for a few hours. If we’re late, I don’t know what happens to the ones we’re expected to pick up at the station. Roy yawns and takes his heart shaped sunglasses off to rub his eyes. We goin’ or what? He says. Let’s make moves! Yeah, I say, we are, hold tight. Maybe, he tells me, I’ll catch a few z’s before T-Lite gets here, ah? Yeah, find a little spot on the ground, I say. Check for wet. He brings his hands to prayer and bows his head in my direction. I look at my watch again. I sink a little: we are definitely not making this next train.

“Late last night I heard the screen door slam” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday May 21, 2016
11:19pm
5 minutes
Big Yellow Taxi
Joni Mitchell


You were leaving trying not to let me hear you trying not to let me hear your heart stop wanting me
I waited there trying not to stop you trying not to tell you that I would try to be better you packed up your items you packed up your clothes you packed up all your reasons and you did your best not to wake me
You were leaving trying to avoid another argument of he said she said I said you said of all those times we laughed at how foolish we had been
I was sobbing there in my pillow on my side of the bed afraid to move an inch and realize it was real after all crying tears of apology into the mattress trying not to let you hear me trying not to let you hear my hollow chest echo as the tiny pieces of my heart fell to the bottom
You were leaving there was nothing I could do and you were leaving me so there was nothing I could do.

“cultural and community differences” by Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Sunday March 13, 2016
3:46pm
5 minutes
From a sample CV

In the moments of stillness
In between where you left and you loved me
I can count the number of breaths I have taken
On one hand
Maybe one and a half
The song I made you write for me plays
It never stops
It doesn’t know how
I don’t know how
I’m embarrassed that you didn’t want to do it
On your own
I could have asked
But I demanded
I could have invited
But I fought
I guess I was under the impression that
We do things for people
When we know it makes them feel good
I am sorry I put you in that category
Of people who care about people
Of people who give because they can
Not because they are tallying points
I am wrong too
I am happy to be so wrong
I am learning in the space between wrong and never right
You taught me that

“a finger in each mouth” by Julia at her desk


Sunday November 22, 2015
8:11pm
5 minutes
From a poem by bell hooks

I can’t read what you wrote because it hurts me every time
like a knife in my side
like a drill in my spine
I can’t see your doctor-prescription-careless-anarchy penmanship because it reminds me that you don’t have any respect for what I do
Your o’s look like d’s, your d’s look like meteors
your ripped napkin with the tomato sauce stain letterhead of our kitchen makes me cry
The part scratched out that I wish to God I could read haunts me
You told me you were leaving me on a garbage scrap and then left it on the fridge next to the photo of us rubbing noses

“Her face was like a spring sun halo” by Julia at Shaktea


Friday November 20,2015 at Shaktea
1:06pm
5 minutes
White Heat
M.J. McGrath


I scooped up her tiny face into my hands and I brought her close to mine so I could feel her nose and inhale her intoxicating smell. She smelled of cinnamon and felt comforting to be around. I liked that she didn’t have a sweet smell because when I thought of her defending herself against the world, it put me at ease to think that she’d be a little bit tougher, connected to her roots, fiery, quick.
She was sleeping still and I thought about leaving in that moment so I could remember her like that: peaceful, calm, perfect. I couldn’t bare the idea of her crying at the realization of my absence. I didn’t want to cause her any more pain than I already had.

“right on the train, first one out of here” by Sasha in The Loving Hut


Thursday, August 6, 2015
7:01pm
5 minutes
If Only
Fink


i see the guilt around your lips
smudges of purple and gold
your eyes say something else
your eyes say
BELIEVE ME
i kiss your cheek with my teeth
clever cleavers
BELIEVE ME
god is there when i leave you
god traces my courage with monarch wings

“What is “beginner’s mind”?” By Julia in Brooklyn


Tuesday, July 28, 2015
11:11pm
5 minutes
from a tweet by Shambhala Sun

Set out on that journey with the wind whispering a farewell to your back
Let it make its way into your hair and dance there for a minute
Maybe two
Maybe three
She doesn’t want to hold you back or make you think you’re not ready
Only you know that
She just thinks goodbyes are important
You have your pencil sharpened and your pages born fresh and clean
Your long trek’s sword; your protector; your companion
Set out on that journey with the wind catching up to your skin
Let it make its way onto your face and caress you there for a minute
Maybe two
Maybe three
She doesn’t want to interfere or keep you from moving forward
You will do it anyway
She just thinks hello-agains are worth it

“supremely a task of communication” By Julia in Brooklyn


Monday, July 27, 2015
11:24pm
5 minutes
Audition
Michael Shurtleff


You say I miss you
I say I miss you back
But we’re throwing daggers baby
avoiding all of our feelings
I can’t stand the silence
So I lie to you instead
You can’t keep score
So neither of us will win
You say
You say I miss you baby
You say
You say I miss you baby
I wait for you to come home
And you rush to me from work
You sit in your car a little longer
So we’re stealing each other’s time baby
Avoiding what is true
You can’t stand the sound of my voice
So you make love to me instead
I can’t play pretend
So it hurts us both the same
I say
I say I miss you back baby
I say
I say I miss you back

“it didn’t work all that well.” By Julia in Brooklyn


Sunday, July 26, 2015
12:01am
5 minutes
From an email

Leaving myself behind
Yeah
Thought it would be easy
Yeah
Thought it would be a walk in the park
Now I’m laughing
Yeah
Cause I know it’s a joke
Yeah
But before I didn’t
Wouldn’t have wanted to take it wrong
I’m stuck with this lot
Half wit
Quarter wit
I’m not going anywhere
No
Not anywhere but where I am
Didn’t work out so well
Had other plans without knowing it
Yeah
Stuck with this face and this body too
Can’t forget a truth once you learn it
Can’t un-hear a bell once you’ve rung it
Can’t pretend
No
Can’t keep all the lies close
No

“believe it or not” by Julia on the 72 going north


Tuesday May 19, 2015
10:45pm
5 minutes
A Ripley’s bus ad

believe it or not we’re here now together
you say you don’t want to believe that cause then it’s harder to let it go
but i’m telling you now that we’re here now together
and the harder you push me the farther i’ll get let go
why wouldn’t you just trust me?
when i say i have a heart built for two
when i say it’s like a bicycle and it carries the both of us?
why can’t you allow me to be exactly how i am
without getting scared of endings and losings and assumings
i’ve never been this happy before either
but i’m not running away
and i’m no trying to convince you that this is too good to be true
you have to listen to what your gut is trying to tell you
all those warm fuzzy tinglings?
they don’t exist there for nothing
and those happy pretty songs that you’re humming
aren’t just an accident either
they’re your feelings and they’re your truth
just the way i paint more when i think of your face
and i can’t help but smile when you cross my mind
i know it’s not normal that doesn’t mean it’s bad
you have to believe me when i tell you the truth before it all goes away
before you see exactly how much better us being here now together is
than what you’ll have when it’s gone

“That’s amazing, honey,” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 12, 2015
1:22am
5 minutes
Almost Unendurable Beauty
Jocelyn Evie


I don’t believe you, Brendan, how the hell am I supposed to believe anything you say? Not just what you say but how you say it. You never mean anything.
…Aimless pacing
…Wandering
…She does
…He watches
What are you even talking about, Maggie? I mean things. I mean what I say to you, of course I do.
…Veins bulge
…Slowly threatening to pop
…His do
…She watches
Because I feel like you’re pulling one over on me all the time. The way you say shit, like “That’s amazing, honey” when things aren’t amazing, or when I’m clearly upset about something and you tell me “well, there’s always tomorrow”. Like what the hell am I supposed to do with fucking tomorrow when today I feel like dying and you can’t even see that?
…Heart fuming
…Coat wearing
…She is
…He isn’t

“She hasn’t been back since” by Julia at her desk


Thursday November 27, 2014
5:42pm
5 minutes
Summer Dress
July Talk


The city’s all lit up at night now
There are lights hung from the tree tips
There’s that feeling in the air
It was her favourite and everyone knows that still
It’s probably the hardest part of everything
Seeing her face in the snow
In the ice rinks
In the candy canes
So what do we do now?
Wait
Drink tea?
Coffee
She’s not coming back so we have to make a choice
Keep living
Trying
Keep smiling
Remembering
When it’s hard that’s when she’s closest
So with that we can make a fresh attempt
When it’s hard
When it’s hard and beautiful out
When people look happy

“Same words in another language” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday October 1, 2014
11:43pm
5 minutes
from a collage in a classroom

You asked if you could cheat off of me
And I said yes
Because it’s what I’m trained for
Golden Retriever
Revolver
Believer
You asked for my answers and I gave them
And when our fingers touched
Three ring lined paper
Thin
like you
Thick
like me
I felt that thunder
That electric sound
That deep growl
I wanted you to stay
You left
Right
You left
Right
You left
I wanted to say
I’ll give you everything
I’ll shape your hopes into cookies
and I will bake them
I’ll paddle to your cabin
and wait
Wait
Wait for you to come back
Late
I’m early
It’s on me
You go
Quicker than laugher
I’m left
Right
Left
Right
Watching your hair move
like water

“Auditions for the part of” by Julia on Nicole’s couch


Saturday, September 6, 2014
1:01am
5 minutes
from a tweet

She smiles at me because she’s trying to figure me out. She says, you’re leaving but aren’t you just starting your career? Don’t you want to be on TV or something? I smile back because FUCK YOU, I’m leaving cause I’m leaving. End of Story. Everybody back off. You know? And she’s still so sweet because she’s not trying to offend anyone, she’s just remembering the two conversations we’ve had in our entire lives and making attempts at small talk. Well it’s not SMALL. It’s my life we’re talking about. My life CHOICES we’re talking about. Which I’m not opposed to doing but I guess when one doesn’t have the answers one expects to have, it’s all just a little bit overwhelming. I’M GREAT AT BULLSHITTING. I blurt that out as a sort of “reason” even though it was meant to convince me more than her. She wasn’t supposed to hear that at all. I’LL BE JUST FINE. I blurt out again. But this time she’s not smiling. She’s sort of looking at me with concern and probably pity. Guess that TV thing is over then?

“Select your inbound journey” By Julia on Nicole’s balcony


Monday September 1, 2014
3:38pm
5 minutes
raileurope-world.com

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the pillow case on my side
So you’d feel my dreams when you held it tight

And you could say goodnight to me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
On the back of a bottle of wine
So when you were toasting to us

You could take an extra sip for me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the drawer with your passport and socks
So when you got dressed in the morning

You could put on a piece of me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
On the bedside table where you’d see it
Right before you fell asleep

I left it there so you could read me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the case of your favourite film
And when you’d open it up to watch it alone

You’d feel like you were watching with me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the basket of all your pens
With a box of envelopes, to remind you, dear

That you could write for me

“Try and make a few local friends” by Julia on her couch


Monday August 18, 2014
1:03am
5 minutes
girlinflorence.com

My motha, she calls me in the middle of the night. She tells me, Keltie, don’t be that girl. I am not that girl, whatever girl she thinks I am, so I say, motha, please, don’t lump me into that group, for the love of christ. She says, Keltie, I don’t want you to be one of those loser girls who sits on her computer all day checking e-mails and how to blogs about growing vegetables indoors but doesn’t actually buy the seeds to do it. I have to take a moment to think about that one, but she doesn’t stop talking. You know, Keltie, you’ve got to be ahead of the crowd and ahead of yourself. Don’t try and hide behind your looks because you’re not fooling anyone and one day someone other than me is going to expect you to actually do something. I’m sitting up in my bed chugging a glass of day old water, trying to watch the tiny fuzz particles as they hid my teeth. I’m staring at the mirror. I’m plucking out stray hairs on inner thigh, fucking Carla forgot to get those white ones we talked about. Yes, uh-huh, I’m still here, I tell her, but she’s hardly even listening. You want to be one of those sad girls who doesn’t make any friends? Keltie? Promise me you’re going to get drunk at least once so you have the confidence to talk to someone other than your vagina. Ma! My vagina? What fresh hell is this conversation right now? She doesn’t answer for the first time. Promise me, Keltie.

“INSERTED” by Julia on her couch


Sunday August 17, 2014
10:19pm
5 minutes
from a receipt

I haven’t known what day it is since last week. That’s not usually like me. I usually know dates and times and names and faces. Lately I’ve been forgetting. I can’t tell if it’s later in the week or earlier? I can’t tell if I have something I need to get done, or not? Maybe because I’ve been doing nothing for so long it suddenly feels like there’s no way I could still be doing only nothing. Haven’t I scheduled some amazing plans yet? Haven’t I figured out something great to do with my time? Surely I’ve missed something! But that would be even worse, knowing that the one and only time I did have plans, I forgot to write them down, or just got the dates confused and ended up doing something mundane instead! Maybe it’s a defence mechanism so I don’t have to go ahead and deal with the dates I know are approaching. August 21: our last night. August 22: our last day. August 23: The first day without you in months. August 24: the first Sunday without cuddling you in the morning because we made sure to observe No Alarm Sundays every other weekend.
I don’t know what day I’m on because I’m in preparation for a longing that can’t be cured simply just by making other plans..

“Love rocks” by Julia on her couch


Thursday August 14, 2014
12:22am
5 minutes
from a girl’s purple t-shirt

Oh they say that when they have it, when they feel it, when they see it
Oh they say that when they know it, when they own it, when they free it
Oh they say those things, light on and good intentions
Oh they say those things, dreams out loud and good vibrations
Oh they, the ones who don’t have to do the missing
Oh they, the ones who don’t have to do the air kissing
Oh they, the ones who don’t need to pretend
Oh they, the ones who don’t need to wait
Love
Talking about Love
Talking about what everyone knows what I’m talking about
Paul Simon on the open road
Something about the loss of it and a window and the winds blowing
Talking about Love
Talking about the same old thing that poetry was built on
Hand-written letters in the mail, sent with two stamps and a kiss for good luck
Oh they say that when they have it, when they feel it, when they see it
Oh they say that when they know it, when they own it, when they free it
Love
Talking about Love

“I’m not doing this with you right now” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday August 13, 2014
2:01am
5 minutes
from a conversation

I’m
not
leaving
that’s not what I’m doing
I’m
not
leaving
you
We can talk every Wednesday
I’m
not
disappearing
I want to write you love letters by hand
I’m
not
leaving
you
Please don’t make this harder
I’m
not
going
far
away
If you don’t consider geography
I’m
not
going
far
way
from
you
If you believe me when I tell you I’m still here
I’m
not
going
I could stay inside this moment with you
I’m
not
going
at
all
Could we resume our puzzle pieced body formation?
I
will
never
leave
you
Take a second to promise me something
I
will
never
choose
something
over you
Distance is a word not a knife wound

“you have been invited” by Julia on her couch


Monday Aug 11, 2014
12:05am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

It’s my going away party, okay? It wasn’t supposed to be a big deal, and nobody was supposed to get upset or say goodbye at all. I didn’t want to have to tell you. I know it sounds stupid, how was I supposed to pull that one off, right? How was I supposed to take off in the middle of the night without a trace and never hug my best friend again. Well in my defence I would have probably told you right after the party. I just wanted to have one last good night where it’s not clouded by anything. I mean, I would have it hanging over my head, of course, and I just thought, yeah but I’m a good actress; I can fake that nothing is wrong better than anyone. But I didn’t want anything to be different. I’m sorry that I did that. I don’t know how I’m supposed to say goodbye to you. I can’t picture starting a chapter without you in it.

“Detour 23” by Julia in a park in Lowertown, St Paul, MN


Sunday Aug 3, 2014
2:21pm
5 minutes
from a Pembina Hwy sign

Of course he left me. I was impossible. I smoked too much. I drank too often. I woke up late. I forgot to dust the underside of chairs, or books, or picture frames. I refused to water our one and only basil plant. I watched it die a slow death everyday by ashing into its pot. I left the TV on throughout the day. I only took long hot showers. I got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup stains on the couch, the bed, and the wall in the front foyer. I coughed up phlegm and spat it into drinking glasses that were next to me. I dog eared every page in every book he loved. I scratched his DVD player so it no longer worked. I took the car out to the border just so I’d have something to do. I never filled up the tank for when he needed it. I chewed my nails and left the ripped bits on the kitchen table. I swore in my sleep. I never ever thanked him.
Of course he left me. I was impossible. I wanted him to go. Sometimes better people are out there beyond the comforts of “love”.