“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 Julia at Millennium Park, Chicago

Thursday September 13, 2018
1:48pm
5 minutes
Soft
Sarah Pinder

He whistles his love from the bathroom with the door closed
She is supposed to whistle back to signal that she heard him
She never learned how to whistle
It hasn’t been a major set back
except when everyone else was whistling in the
first scene of the show but her
She pursed her lips together and
raised her eyebrows to fake it

When he whistles from the bathroom
She is supposed to answer him but
she doesn’t know how to fake it
Whatever song comes out, comes out
Whatever noise, faint or otherwise
He takes it as a symbol of her love for him
But she does not know how to whistle
She does not know how to fake it
She has never been good at lying
He has never been good at detecting it

They say you can teach yourself how to whistle
The placement of the tongue in your mouth is everything
The space left for air to flow through

One day she tried to teach herself how to whistle
She put her mouth the way they say to
she made sure her tongue was in the right spot
One sad little note slipped out
And she was glad that she could learn to do
the thing that everyone seems to know how to do

When he whistled his love for her behind the bathroom door
She whistled back one flat note
She never learned how to change the tone
Or make it sound more alive

“a few drops of peppermint oil.” by Julia on the Red Line

Tuesday September 11, 2018
4:27pm
5 minutes
The Incense of Those Rooms
Jen Currin

Misery loves Company so Misery keeps inviting Company over. Together they sway in the dark and call it romance. Call it pretty.
Misery asks Company to stay a while and talk to her while she cries. And she cries Niagara Falls. Sometimes on the inside where her sandwich drowns a thousand deaths. Company loves Misery and keeps telling her she’ll be there. That she’ll never leave her. Company draws a bath and sprinkles in a few drops of peppermint oil. All this running water and nowhere to go. Misery wants to be who she is, find someone who will love her this way. Company keeps Misery from changing. Keeps bringing her baskets of hand picked sorrow. Calls it unconditional. Calls it sweet. Calls it forever.

“she died before age forty” by Sasha on her couch

Friday September 7, 2018
5:11pm
5 minutes
F*** Face
Amber Dawn

She died before age forty
and it’s okay don’t be sad about it
she was ready she’d lived
a full life
she’d fucked
and fled
and funned
and stayed
and stopped
and loved

She died before she turned forty
right but she lived more in those
years than most people live in
their eighty two or seventy six

She called her sister
before she died
because her sister couldn’t be there
she was the only on
she had two new babies
two new babes
and she called her sister
and her sister cried and cried
her nipples dripping milk
the twins sleeping beside her
she rocked them with her foot

“And we created a hybrid,” by Julia on D’s chair

Monday August 27, 2018
1:38am
5 minutes
Poetry Is The Song Of The People
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Altogether in the forest
I remember us walking in a line linked like breakfast sausages
It wasn’t cold or I had on a good coat, I can’t exactly recall. But Illiah was wearing a red rope around his neck with a hangy medalian. a piece of wood with a stamp on it maybe.
and as we gathered around the mother tree, Jara started to sing and we all started to sing too. as if we knew the song. as if our bones were already in tune.I remember feeling like warm water was being poured over my head, cascading down and blanketing my spirit. I never wanted to leave. I never wanted to wake up.

“Light becomes me.” by Julia at the desk

Sunday August 26, 2018
9:46pm
5 minutes
Here Be Monsters
Lisa Foad
I have friends sending me long distance healing. I am blessed beyond reason.
When I remember this love I am lift. I become light.
Earlier my lover told me he loves looking at my eyes naked. As if he could see me better without mascara. I used to look at other women who didn’t need makeup with reverence. How much love they had for themselves, how nice their eyes were naturally.
I wanted to believe him better. Let him love me the way he loves me.
I am sad at how radical leaving the house without filling in my eyebrows has become for me.
Why when I am this loved from across the world. Why when I am this bright and grateful and open? Why do I question the quality of my light? Why do I sit and wait for someone else to tell me that they see it. Feel it. Notice it.
If I believe I am light then light will become me. It will be the best accessory. The sweetest outfit. It will bathe me in its glow. And I won’t need to line my eyes in purple paint to draw attention.

“if you fed your neighbours” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday August 22, 2018
8:39pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rebecca Solnit

you should feed them the bullshit
hi how are you good I’m good we’re good she’s good
no we can’t hear you coughing no we didn’t realize we were so loud
no we don’t have any sugar for you to borrow
you should tell them you are practicing a scene for acting class when they catch you screaming your lungs off
spilling your own secrets
about who you really are
you should tell them the thing they want to hear
i’m happy we’re happy he’s happy we’re good we’re staying together we’re really good actors we’re really passionate people

“the freedom to do as we please” by Julia on the plane

Tuesday August 21, 2018
10:51pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Wendell Berry

The place of more freedom is waiting for you.
And me.
Together we will see.
Hand over heart swear to the sun and the moon.
You say me and I say you
and you say you
You say this and I say true.
You choose me and I
choose me and I choose
you and you
choose you.
You keep leaving me babe.
And I keep coming home to you.
The heart knows how to
grow: slowly slowly.
It pumps what I use.
It gives it back to you.
I don’t want them anymore.
I don’t need them either.
You’re the only thing I’m after.
In your arms I find my freedom.
Come take this piece,
this experimental page.
Walk beside me walk me up to your lips and wait.
You will always see me, babe,
so you say, so I believe.
And I will always see you, babe.
Underneath.
Underneath.

“it has been six and a half years since you died” by Julia in her sister’s bed

Friday August 10, 2018
10:48pm
5 minutes
Welcome to the Club
Marion Winik

I don’t remember the day you died but I remember how you lived. Your chest was an open x-ray. Here, the place where love scarred you. Here the place hope left. You smiled through your eyes, through the pain, and we knew we were getting the best of you left in you. We knew you were telling the truth when you said you wanted us to find what makes us happy. I remember how you sang Elvis at New Years and Easter and my dad’s birthday. You left every room you entered brighter. You entered every room.

“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 Julia upstairs at Amanda’s

Monday August 6, 2018
10:55pm
5 minutes
The Law of Success
Paramahansa Yogananda

you won’t always be sure. some things take learning and living. some opinions need to be deconstructed and rebuilt and seen with new eyes. this happens for me and it makes me unsure. because if you must always be sure then where is discovery? were we born sure and lost it? will we ever even be? other people’s shoulds make me unsure. they can’t be taken as gospel when we all have a unique pattern to follow. we’re all stitching our hearts up with different yarn. how can we be sure about anything? unless we’re sure about being loved. this one, no matter who or what, is something true. and I am sure.

“all-new, feature-length” by Julia at Amanda’s place

Sunday August 5, 2018
7:24am
5 minutes
Teamsters and Tutus
Simon Lewsen

it’s the movie of our lives
the stop and go the faraway
the you call me in the morning on your way to buy peaches from the market
the me call you back before the family reunion and the butter tarts
the mesaages of sweet when I wake up and you still asleep
in another time zone
the missing you from here
and I point to my heart so you know exactly where here is, where here lives in me, where I carry you
it’s the meeting at a wedding two summers in a row
a new suit and a new pair of heels to show our loved ones
look, we’ll say, we’ve done all this growing
and the credits won’t because the movie isn’t over yet
it’s only just beginning
it’s only taking shape even after all the years and tears and open wounds
and still we both look at each other and say, I’m into this so far
this is going to be a good one
I can tell

“But when he reached the age” by Julia at YVR airport

Thursday August 2, 2018
9:07am
5 minutes
Atheist at the Pulpit
Larry Krotz

Elliot, Romy’s kid, had a wine stain birthmark on his hair line. It bled out a bit toward his eyes and cheeks but framed his face in a sweet way. He smiled at me when I caught his eye. It made me feel good. then I watched him smile at anyone he looked at and realized he was not in love with me alone but with people. With life. That made me me feel good too. he pointed at the man on his bluetooth next to me. As if to say “you’re the one that I love the most.” I liked his birth mark. I imagined the skin kissed red to be extraordinarily smooth and squishy. My best friend in high school had a wine stain birth mark on her arm. Her skin was so fun to press myself into. She used to get teased but she was so beautiful. People really suck the life out of you when they dont understand something.

“a family house can remain empty” by Julia on the couch

Wednesday August 1, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
The Highest Bidder
Kerry Gold

My sister answers the phone when I call even if she is with her friends. My brother did the same a few days ago when I called him on his birthday. He was at Montana’s eating a burger before going to the Falls. I felt bad for calling but it felt like he would have chatted all day. That’s the home I’m going back to. The house emptied of the three of us years ago. I was the first to leave and stay gone. I keep boots and books and pictures there. I like going back if we watch the old home videos. We all keep saying we should turn those VHS tapes into DVDs so we can keep our memories longer but no one ever does. If I can find my old glove in the garage I suspect we’ll hit the field behind the house and go long.

“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

“Truth rambles some moorish in-between, but that’s poetry” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday July 28, 2018
4:42pm
5 minutes
Rhinocerotic
Ellie Sawatzky

Truth rambles out open pores
and I smell goodness on your skin
drink it in
maybe that’s why I like to bury
in your armpits

I’ve never known a love
with these peaks and valleys

When someone I enjoy
asks me about the first year
of marriage
all I can say is

“Yes
it’s different
Yes
it’s the hardest thing
Yes
it’s all a beautiful mystery”

“The roots went down
that day and they spread
wide always reaching always
ready”

all I can say is

This is how I
want to be

“he had this reputation because” by Julia on the 7

Sunday July 22, 2018
8:05am
5 minutes
Under The Skin
Michel Faber

Because he was good
Because he was kind
Because he was thoughtful
Because he was sweet
Because he was playful
Because he was funny
Because he was grateful
Because he was honest
Because he was forgiving
Because he was generous
Because he was happy
Because he was smart
Because he was curious
Because he was willing
Because he was respectful
Because he was adventurous
Because he was unique
Because he was listening
Because he was trying
Because he was athletic
Because he was vulnerable
Because he was hard working
Because he was loved
Because he was love
Because he was true
Because he was different
Because he was strong
Because he was light
Because he was committed
Because he was disciplined
Because he was musical
Because he was mine
Because he was real

“Brady and Rix” by Julia at the desk

Saturday July 21, 2018
11:40am
5 minutes
Fever Pitch
Nick Hornby

Brady and Rix are the names of my imaginary kids.
They’re both neutral names but they’re both boys.
I am seeing my life with boys. I am allowed to see
what ever I want. God made me a writer. This is what
that’s for. Dreaming. Going there. Writing stories.
Brady is the older brother. My first. I love him like
an avalanche. Falling over myself every day. Knocked
down by love for the kid who can fit inside my pocket.
He holds my hand and calls me mama. He loves bubbles
and laughing and me. And his dad. He loves his dad so much.
He thinks everything he does is amazing. And everything
he does is amazing. Rix is the baby. He’s very serious.
He looks at everything with curiosity. He wants to know
my soul and does not let go. He is learning with a bit
of discernment. He loves being in the water. He pours
out of me and into things and into light. The whole room
loves him.

“Age is a work of Art” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday July 17, 2018
11:40pm
5 minutes
from a Banyen Books bookmark

It is an ever changing thing today I got older and younger during the same conversation

I see myself reflected sometimes so young in her eyes

And when I see her as wise and older and let her be, she is kind

Remarkably kind

And generous with her heart

And that is age painted pretty

That is the poster child the reason why, the trailer for the good show kindness is age and love is old

Love is young

Love is ever changing

I hear myself laughing the way she does and I know we are born from the same legs, mixed in the same sky

“There are no edges to my loving now.” by Julia in her bed

Monday July 16, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
Quoted by Rumi

there are nothing but edges
I see that
you see that
we have perfected the dance of walking on pins and needles
the bed lays flat
the floor a running river
it is easy on the tile as if the room should know better
but nothing is soft
nothing is without conditions
or consequence
I know I am supposed to love you like a circle
like a knot
undoable
I’m meant to give much more over than I do
but I do not love anything like a circle
except for the idea that I do not

“There are no edges to my loving now.” By Sasha on her balcony

Monday July 16, 2018
6:44pm
5 minutes
Quoted by Rumi

the water of this wears me
this sweat and longing and heartbreak
and love and trust and dreaming and collision
of past-present-future
there are less edges to my loving now
that we sleep naked in the glory and mud

i set the same intention a million
times over set the timer for five minutes
twenty minutes
three days
as a marker that maybe then i’ll be
ready maybe then i’ll be healed

the words help they always do
the forest helps it always does
water helps it always
does
too

the fluid nature of love
can’t be explained can it
just as you can’t explain
the etches on the walls of
the heart
this heart
beating in my mouth
this love
this heart
fireworks in the aeorta
ventricle to ventricle
we reach towards
the now

“Are we able to live simply,” by Julia on her patio

Sunday July 15, 2018
9:26pm
5 minutes
Living Buddha, Living Christ
Thich Nhat Hanh

Every time this poor dog howls you look up at me from your book with those eyes that are trying to make a connection with mine.
I think you’re hoping that I will want one just as bad as you do; as if this three hour howling dog is helping your case.

How can we live simply with a dog suffering? Think of how much work it’ll be to love something who is always distressed.

And then I think about how you love me extra when I am visited by sadness, three hour tears streaming down my cheeks. You have some magic touch and a resevoir of love overflowing. You don’t even hide it. You give generously. You are there when I get thirsty.

And maybe we aren’t meant to live simply. Maybe some things are supposed to stretch us wide.

“I need my medicine” by Julia at S,G, and E’s house

Saturday July 14, 2018
10:05pm
5 minutes
overheard at Genavie’s house 

I need this before I can do this I need the house to be cleaned the old milk to be taken out the practice of preaching

I need many things
before I can be enough

I need the light on
the story told
the writes written
I need the glory of the coming of the Lord

I need my medicine
drip drop in the throat before I can sleep
I need my mom to come
back to come back for me to not leave me here without saying goodbye

I need to watch Annie and pretend that my chance will come too
sing a little while I scrub the bathroom
tell you all the counters I’ve wiped and counting
counting to remind myself I am here and they are comig back
that they haven’t forgotten me
that I am enough

I need my medicine
this healing
this grace

“I want to tell them” by Julia on her couch

Friday July 6, 2018
5:02pm
In the Dermatologist’s Office, Again
Robert Tremmel

I want to tell them I don’t hate them that I love them that I need them
I want to tell them that they hurt me that they weren’t me that I am them
I want to write it in a letter snail mail send it
Write it on the mirror in red lipstick
Call Them on the phone and sing a prayer of sorry
Meet Them in the park and hug them full of thank you

I want to tell them that they’ve helped me that they’ve shaped me that they’ve held me

Tell them that they’ve known me that they’ve shown me that they’ve stoned me

That they’ve made this soft centred M&M melt that they’ve crunched my hard shell easy that they’ve pressed too hard on my bruises and buttons

I want to tell them that I’m not going anywhere.

That I’m big.
That I’m growing.

I want to tell them that the sea is going to swallow them up and they should let it.

I want to tell them who I am.
I want to tell them I’m the sea.

“For the sea lies all about us…” by Julia on her couch

Monday July 2, 2018
9:38pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rachel Carson

The moment I decide I will love you forever you turn into a sea slug
It is my curse of course
I’m the one who made it happen
Earlier you are bright and light and good all over
You have the smile that makes me remember why I choose you
You smell lime fresh
Avocado sweet
And then the sun drops from his throne
The sky changing colour from orange to purple to earth pink
Suddenly you do not want me around
You are weary of me
You are wishing I was dead or asleep or a seagull passing over the ocean for the last time
This might be a truth
This might be a lie
A story that I tell myself when loving you as is feels too scary to do
I am scared of how easily the light can switch
How little weight my word holds

“your body will always be there for you” by Julia in her bed

Sunday July 1, 2018
11:53pm
Woman Code
Alisa Vitti

I know what the cravings feel like Broccoli and kale love on top, icing, laughter She knows what she wants To run, sleep, be held in the small of her back The body knows, she will always

Skin built for rebounds, bouncing off the burn Bones made to play and jump and leap This is where the body begs and reminds; where the knots shift, calling

“of crucial importance” by Julia on her patio

Saturday June 30, 2018
11:23pm
5 minutes
Sex At Dawn
Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha 

Extend the left calf and then right
Stretch the toes out, point them down, hold, twist, hold again, take notice.

The stress of the foot is carried in the ball between my good and my grounded. Lightning curled up fetal in the belly of the sky. Press this button and know forever love. Know it like you know the beg of your own knots, the root of your own affairs, and tell me: I see you and the pain you hold. I see the the hole you’ve dug. This is how you water the flower. This is how you give her bloom.

“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.

“Greet me at the gate” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday June 26, 2018
7:12am
Green
Nikki Sharp

meet me at the gate with your arms open and lift me up but don’t spin me just get me off the ground and whisper something in my ear that you’ve never said to anyone that you’ve only ever said to me and put me down and look me in the eyes because my eyes have changed since you last really saw me i know you saw me this morning but i’m talking about really seeing really knowing and my eyes are going to tell you how i miss you til i’m sick and dizzy and gorging and my eyes will tell you how i’m not sure if i can take this but my words won’t my words won’t they can’t that’s not how they work

“I have two more weeks to pack” by Julia on her patio

Saturday June 23, 2018
11:36pm
5 minutes
from a text

Get here sooner bring your guitar and your good ideas
We’re going to jam on the patio and light some candles and eat a charcuterie board like last time
Like last time
I like last time and this time will be so different
No more blonde on the top
No more orange hue better in person
You, I think will find a sundress in my closet to love best and please wear it
Great don’t pack anything let me give you everything you need
And feed you I will feed you
Like a humming bird buzzing up
Borrow the tiger balm you gave me for my trip
I use it on the back of my neck when I can’t sleep
You can sleep in or out or on my side of the bed
It caves in sometimes
It caved in today
But we can touch the floor and isn’t that always fun
I can’t hold the clock because it teases
Tick tick and still weeks and weeks
Week week
Week week
Counting down the days until the walks catch our feet and the night worships the salt back into our hair
Don’t bring a blowdryer
Mine is fine and works the way a $3 blowdryer should
Don’t bring anything but you

“the sum total of the courage and the integrity” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
5 minutes
10:37am
A quote by Eleanor Roosevelt

We can walk into the mouth of our lover with gratitude
and compassion or wake up on the wrong side of the bed
with a vengeance that travels in heat, and ready.
I remember this when I am late to the day after a long
night of bad decisions and I am too ashamed to greet you
in your half way done morning, specific goals set, etc.
I come out with a new tail tucked between my legs and you
stop your structure and stretch out your arms to me,
welcoming, grateful. You say how lucky you are and you
say it with skin and smile before words leave your lips.
I remember this when you are late to the day and I am
awake before you and running and weaving and juicing
and you come to me with the same openness but my first
instinct is to keep running, make you catch up, make
you feel bad. We can walk into the mouth of our lover
with gratitude and patience if we remember how important
time spent gazing at each other really is. We can choose
this in the morning, at night, and in the afternoon. You
do this and you teach me. I thank whoever is in charge
that you do not dole out grades to match the student.

“That’s the bottom line.” By Julia on the 2

Wednesday June 13, 2018
3:40pm
5 minutes
From a quote by James Baldwin

It’s underneath my anger and sweeps below the bitterness
The way you say I love you to your father
The way you call him your man
You take all the risks in your life when it comes to loving
You know how to lead by example and love non-stop as if you weren’t worried about it running dry
It’s in the baby picture of you smiling that same smile
So I don’t know if I can stay angry
At the day, at the weather, at the sting of you
Because you can be so good
So soon after claiming your space
I should be happy you have chosen to show me this side of you
And I am happy
That’s the bottom line

“our bodies amalgamated from the great melting pot” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday June 10, 2018
9:25am
5 minutes
The Communion of Strangers
Brian Jay Stanley

When we met
you were smoky eyed
luscious and tempting words
wearing green is what I remember most
the bigness of your youness
is what I remember most

before surgeries
a joint bank account
a daughter’s name chosen
and waiting in the bank
of where our hearts meet
a promise made under September sun

before two summers of waiting up
three fights where one of us broke something
four winters in the rain
five trips on highways and planes
six days a week of being ships crossing now
and priase be
seven whole years of this biggest love

In sleep our bodies know no boundaries
except when you’re snoring
or I’m too hot
or one of us is sick
In sleep we do become one
boundless being of newness
Nowness
Toes touching

Your arm under my head
cradling my dreamscape
My leg over your leg
hoping that you go so far
knowing that you’re home
when you’re here and when
we’re here
exactly like this

“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.

“Ordinary men and women” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
10:00pm
5 minutes
Northern Ireland: The Case Of Bloody Sunday
Carole-Anne Upton

We sit at the cottage and eat breakfast built for two. You and me. One ordinary woman and one ordinary man. We tap forks the way we taught ourselves to love. Out loud. Ceremony. A reminder of all the good between us. You have managed to make perfect eggs and I have done the kale this time good enough to write about here. You can see the mountains from where you sit and in the reflection of the print above your head, I can see them too. They look nice.
The day is a heart beat away from making us wish we wanted to stay here. You are busy thinking of how to live somewhere else. I am wondering a lot at the thought of you going. What kind of letters will you send me? Ones filled with sorry, or sweet, or cash. I hope the latter. I don’t think my jobs pay enough for me to live in this apartment without you. Who will I eat my ordinary breakfast with? With who will I sit on my ordinary couch? Do phone calls and text messages keep the love alive? We will find out. One ordinary woman and one ordinary man.

“Like the radio waves” by Julia

Thursday May 24, 2018
10:45pm
5 minutes
The Use of Media in Documentary
Carol Martin

You are Asleep like the radio waves

Rippling into the upper sweet of my arm

And the radio plays

Angel music coming from a banjo

Harmonica soul singing the c out of her own chest

And your breathing makes me a believer, praying to the divine soft and friendly exhale

There is nothing you couldn’t fly right now If you wanted to

There is only sound, dancing among us, asking to be touched

“Resource Recovery” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday May 22, 2018
11:21pm
5 minutes
From an apartment garbage bin

All is okay now that we’ve touched hearts again
Now that the sky has turned from blue to black
Now that the space between is a bridge of goodness
We eat baby carrots and we drink from glasses
That’ve never touched these lips
These new places all new all fresh all free

My breath catches a million times and it’s okay
Because you know this kind of ache
Because you get where we’ve been and where we are
And where we’re going
It’s gonna take time we say
And we’re right
We know
We trust that this is where we’re supposed to be
Where we are

Riding home
Up hills and over potholes
I laugh and sing a song about travel
I make it up as I pedal pedal pedal
Like you would
Make it up on the spot
Gift it to you

“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

“Intelligent, quirky, passionate” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday May 15, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
from Quill and Quire

Welcome to Search-and-Love and thank you for joining our community. Setting up your profile is going to take some time, but you can save as you go and come back to it as many times as you need to. Remember that the love of your life is going to see what you write here, so make it count. We congratulate you on taking your love life, and your future, into your own hands.

“I don’t think this is for me,” you say, and you’re right in some ways.

“Of course it is! Come on! It’s now or never!” I pat your arm.

“It hasen’t even been a year, Kel…” Tears fill your eyes and I –

“We’ve talked about this a million times. You have to get back on the horse. You’ll go on a few dates and you’ll see how you feel! If you hate it, you’ll take your profile down. Okay?”

Now, let’s start easy – describe yourself in three words.

“I call to ask my mother the name of the street” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday May 2, 2018
9:46pm
Flight
Idrissa Simmons

I see a woman holding the hand of a small child. Maybe he’s two and a half. The woman looks rotten. The child isn’t screaming, but I bet that he was a few minutes ago. She wipes his snotty nose with her own sleeve. It’s a nice sweater. That moment is full of surprise and worry. On my part. She looks at him with something I do not know. I am not a mother. Is it love? Is it hate? Is it indifference? Is it fatigue? She catches my eye, watching them, and glares at me. I must look crazy. Watching them. She’s just trying to get her toddler to blow his nose.

“she will not live long.” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
11:21pm
5 minutes
june 20th
Lucille Clifton

Mary-Beth gets a chicken
and she loves her with
all her heart because that’s
what a chicken does
to a person

You wouldn’t think it
but it’s true
They are bringing
chickens into senior citizens’
homes to help fight all
the loneliness

Mary-Beth lets Fiesta
(That’s her chicken’s name)
sit on her shoulder while
she is playing checkers with
Anthony and Robin
Fiesta helps her heart beat
to more music than ever
and she also helps her win
at checkers

“I have been in love with a life—“ by Julia at her desk

Saturday April 7, 2018
12:28am
5 minutes
Grammar School
Megan Fennya Jones

Some audiences don’t snap for poems about joy
if the joy is coming out of certain bodies
You could say you love your body and they will
say that it’s because you never had to struggle
You could say you like yourself and they will
wait for the moment before when you didn’t
I have been grateful in front of the wrong people
Gave my full heart and let the light open the room
and still it was not the right place for it
it did not compare with all of the other sadness
Makes you wonder sometimes if you have enough
pain to even be a poet
if you have enough of anything at all
If you want to sing the love song for your loved song
you will have to wait until there’s a
space in the programming
You can’t try to be joyful after someone else has wept
it will make you look like you’re bragging
like you’re the enemy
and some audiences will call you undeserving
of a ten

“I have been in love with a life—“ by Sasha in the bathtub

Saturday April 7, 2018
11:18pm
5 minutes
Grammar School
Megan Fennya Jones

I have always been in love
with life. That is a truth
as sure as laugh lines,
as sure as chapped lips,
as sure as your voice singing,
as sure as the horse’s grey mane,
and the rising sun,
as sure as magnolia blossoms,
as sure as my mother’s knowing.

Even when I’ve lost faith
like a bus pass,
like an irreplaceable ring,
like a lover in another city,
like the name of someone
who I’ve met once in passing,
like the sound of the crickets
in the woods at Knowlton Lake,
like the tune to a song I wrote
as a teenager,

Even when I’ve lost faith,
I’ve always known that

love

is the
language
is the
religion
is the practise.

“The process is afterall like music,” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday April 6, 2018
9:14pm
5 minutes
Käthe Kollwitz
Miriam Rukeyser

I wonder where the grace
note will come in amidst
the banging and bruising
If I’ll be sitting
at my desk
on the sidewalk
and you’ll suddenly come
to mind
and you’re finally smiling
not that I can’t hold
the grief or the grey
but you’re smiling
and it lifts me
from where I am

I sail over
the rooftops
towards the water
towards where you
are and you don’t
have poems
or words
you don’t even
know I’m there
but I am
I am

“All my friends are having babies” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday April 4, 2018
2:57pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

All my friends are having babies and I am more concerned with how good my freaking nails look these days. It’s taken a long time to like my hands. How do you like a hand that squeezes too hard, that breaks the good mugs, that spends most of its time down the front of raggedy sweat pants? These hands have never housed nice nails. These nails have never looked this strong. Some days I couldn’t tell if it was blood underneath them or just ketchup chips. It’s all I can think about because it’s like they belong on someone else’s body. Someone else who, say, might be having a baby. I’m used to seeing chips and tears and skin peeling off where it shouldn’t. They were not the hands that held soft things and kept them soft. They didn’t know how to stay one colour when stepping out into the cold.

“I think you’re really mean” By Julia on her bed

Friday March 30, 2018

1:49pm

5 minutes

Not Fair

Lilly Allen

The little girl says this to me after I tell her that I’m not mad at her for breaking my crayon box. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to feel bad but she feels bad and now she thinks every word out of my mouth is going to shame her head into the sand. This comment is followed by a lot of screaming for me not to talk to her. Nobody is allowed to talk to her. And I have to let it pass because she is not my child and she doesn’t know that I am trying to hold her. Minutes earlier she is flinging her arms around me and telling me she loves me. I wonder about the size of a three year old’s emotions. I ask myself, how do such big feelings fit into such small bodies. Her hands, when she lets me squeeze them, a tiny pillow for all the unknowing in the space between us. Her curls, when she lets me comb them, a bouncy castle of dreams.

“Bill and Madge” by Julia on her couch

Sunday, March 25, 2018
11:24pm
5 minutes
The Wreck Up Ahead
Poe Ballentine

M: Billy, come down here, the darn TV went off again!

B: So turn it back on again dear Liza!

M: Har har very funny. It won’t stay on, I already tried.

B: Did you unplug it, plug it back in, wiggle the cord, and say a little prayer?

M: Billy, for Chrissakes, get down here!

B: Say it, Madge.

M: Say what?

B: The magic words. All of em, in a row: Billy, my one and only, I need your help.

M: Are you out of your goddamn mind? Why do you think I’m asking you to come down here in the first place you egomaniac!

“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.

“It’s always too soon to go home.” by Julia at her desk

Thursday, March 22, 2018
10:26pm
5 minutes
Hope In The Dark
Rebecca Solnit

The last conversation was a bad one:
you on the phone with the love held up
to your ear, me at the good plate trying
not to miss you. And maybe it was dinnertime
for me and bedtime for you and we
couldn’t get our wires uncrossed, or it
was just me, as it always is, when the
volume rises for no reason.
All you said was no more canned tomatoes.
It could have been so funny.
But lately I’ve been trying not to sway so
damn easily at the nudge of you. I made
a deal with the body I get to visit
that I would not wait for you to
come home for me to start deciding.
You managed, like a duck diving,
not to mind the dark and cold at all.

“I thought my love would never recover.” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday March 21, 2018
10:57am
5 minutes
A quote by Madeleine L’Engle

It is a gift given often without being returned
a tiny bird’s egg rescued from concrete
the padded footsteps around the house
while he sleeps through the day again
Expectations far away from here

But then it is still true
When the silence is so loud it weeps
the hurt so present it raises the skin
you might think this love bone might never mend
this aching might never go away

He sleeps, through the day again,
her mother forgets to ask about her doctor’s appointment
the padded footsteps, soft from walking with empty
And the next day, a window cracks
the light streaming in just a little

“something wonderful happens:” by Julia on the 84

Sunday, March 18, 2018
2:26pm
5 minutes
A Marriage
Michael Blumenthal

When the days go by without poetry
I am lost inside the labyrinth my own making has built for me to conquer
Busy relearning how to walk
with two new feet that have not yet carried this heavy
The hero’s journey has always been someone else’s movie
And I have not watched myself transform into grace from the sidelines
Inside out she is begging to be fed
That I may find my appetite for words the way I once did in the weeds and speckled laneways
She is the hero waiting
Outside is not safe and she knows that
She wants out anyway but there are more protectors at the gate
More worried hearts preoccupied with the consequence of light
First I must put her ease in plain view
Ask her if she’s sure and if she is how sure
Something wonderful happens when I let her speak
When she sees a door and calls it a wishing well.

“something wonderful happens:” by Sasha on the highway

Sunday, March 18, 2018
2:21pm
5 minutes
A Marriage
Michael Blumenthal

I lost myself in the swirling water
imagining blood
imagining placenta
imagining screaming
ripping loving crying

I found myself in the sky
hanging onto a crow’s foot
high high up and not at all afraid
you on the ground below
cheering me on
you can do it
you say
you can do it

I lost myself in my own body
sick and bloated
racing heart even though I
haven’t moved all day

I found myself in my own body
the same
but different
I know you so well
I say
I just met you
I say
Talking to myself
romancing myself
alone
together

“The next time he comes over” by Julia at her desk

Saturday, March 17, 2018
10:57pm
5 minutes
The Possible Universe
Claire Halliday

The next time he comes by, in dream or almost, I’m going to make sure I taste his lips.
Last time the whole sleep paralysis thing got me. He came home, but I was stuck on the couch. I could feel him next to me. I asked him for a kiss. He bent down, his mouth hot near mine, and all I could do was lay there. Now I’ve had a good talking to with my brain and we both agreed we were not going to do that again. If he was showing up in my subconcious, he should get to make actual contact. None of this Nearly But Not Quite stuff. He asked me if we could rendezvous at a train station this time. I got worried, knowing me, always waking myself up before the good parts. So we decided to meet on the train itself to maximize our dream time together. He said he wanted to make love to me in the dining car. I would very much like to show up for this one. I’ve always wanted to make love in a dining car.

“If you want to go out with her or give her a bath” by Julia in the office chair

Thursday March 8, 2018
10:17pm
5 minutess
From a text

Lottie ain’t gonna fightcha, if ya’ll wanna take her out or give her a nice scrubbin’, be my guest, understand? She used to put up a stink, but I think the old gal has gotten tired and to be honest I think she likes the company different these days. When we first got her, boy could she kick a hole in all your hard work! The fences that Horace put up? Took him the whole damn summer. When he left for two minutes to fetch himself a congratulatory beer Lottie had already marked her exit route. You shoulda seen his face, my god. If he didn’t already feel bad for the poor thing, he mightta sold her that very day. Thing is, Lottie came from a bad group. The owners liked to use their animals for experiments in show business-Kind of impossible circus types.

“If you have any questions” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 6, 2018
7:32am
5 minutes
Vancouver Yellow Cab

Allow me to jump ahead for a second. We don’t fall in love, and we don’t get married, and we don’t have three red-haired and freckled children. That doesn’t happen. What does is that I cheat on you thirteen times (eleven with men, twice with women). You forgive me ten times. The last three break you. Especially the women. I ask forgiveness every day with actions and words and neither matter and both make things hurt more. You pack a bag and take your grandmother’s lamp and walk out one morning and I lie on the floor and despite knowing I deserve it all I wail and slobber for forty eight hours.

“plush and pregnant into my palm” by Julia at her desk

Saturday, March 3, 2018
12:16am
5 minutes
Ode to a Desiccated Olive
James Cagney

I catch myself being more ready for the things I used to avoid
Motherhood
True Love
White Cheddar popcorn topping
In the span of a few months my chest has expanded:
my heart has grown three full sizes
I know you are to blame
as you always are for changing my mind
as you always are when you are the next thing in the room
I have never wanted you closer
Even after all the undecided books
or old tables put in new places
It is medicine when our worlds spin in the same direction
It is better this way
On the street you ask me if things are okay when they don’t feel okay
I tell you now before they turn into unswept corners, spiders crawling out

“object of concentration” by Julia on the 99

Friday, March 2, 2018
4:02pm
5 minutes
Ashtanga Yoga Primer
Baba Hari Dass

On my mind like a wind chime

blowing in the night

Playing a song so sweet

You are who I think of when I can’t get to sleep

You are who I know I need

Raindrops carry the ease of you

On my rooftop I have felt the drum

You are who my heart knows is the one

You are who my heart knows is the one

In the faces in shower tiles I see yours

In the gravel roads I’m travelling on

You’re the smile in my bowl of soup

the wisdom in the moon

You are who I was supposed to meet

You are who my dreams told me to write

You are who my eyes were built to see

You are who my heart knows

“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”

“may all the bones” by Sasha at her desk

Friday, February 23, 2018
4:02pm
5 minutes
And if there is a day of resurrection
Todd Davis

I want to be the best for you. I wake up sweaty. I wake up hungry. I wake up wanting blood. I make steak and eggs and go for a run. I run farther than ever. I run to the desert. I taste you. I feel you in my liver. I hear you in my ears. I take a sick day and buy a canvas from an art store and paint you from memory. You’ve never looked better. I listen to Britney Spears, Chopin, Coldplay, Marvin Gaye. I drink gallons of water. I take vitamins. I eat chia seeds by the spoonful. I go to the doctor. I will live forever, for you, because of you.

“we were in the same grade together” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday February 15, 2018
9:51pm
5 minutes
Lesbian at a Bachelor Party
Amber Dawn

I run for miles just to get close to you and then when you’re there when you’re in front of my there aren’t words there is only my incessant heart that insists on beating seventeen times too fast whenever I’m in your presence.

It doesn’t help that I’m so hungry for love for touch for attention for kissing for you that I hide when your close and that’s not a metaphor I actually hide as in I crawl under the sink and wait until you’re gone.

It doesn’t matter that I ran for miles to get here and that then seeing you real and alive and breathing and looking worse than I thought you’d look it doesn’t matter it doesn’t matter I will die here in the cupboard of shame and fear and love and sweat and

oh my god

you’re searching for dish soap.

I’ve been found.

“bellies full of unborn air” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday February 12, 2018
8:31am
5 minutes
Mannequins
Emily Davidson

Bellies full of unborn air
we reach for stars
we have no concept of.
How far away is venus?
How close is the new moon?
Where exactly is the north star?

Hearts full of
bubbles and pebbles
we crouch in the fire
hope we
don’t get burned.

Yes

you know more than me.

In my unknowning
though

I am wiser than
the octopus
with her smirk
and her paws.

Contort this body
into origami cranes.
Shake your head
at the grey
at the red.

Make failures
and love
in equal measure.

Yes

you are the tallest

mountain.

Playing piano
with our noses
we shake our fat
until the crows
laugh.

“He couldn’t get enough of sky” by Julia on her couch

Thursday February 8, 2018
10:08pm
5 minutes
North America’s Favourite Zoo Animal
Stephanie Bolster

This boy flies in a plane
never seen the sky from
this high up
never seen his church
from this far away
Counting stars, Mamma,
I see them all the same as
down there
Makes a wish in case
one of them unexpectedly falls
And this one can be yours too,
Mamma, we can share it
This boy wears light blue hat
with bear ears sticking out
He sleeps in the soft of his
mother after watching the pink
and orange stripes fade
The gentle lady walks by and
catches herself off guard
by his tiny perfect face

“it was poetry, fireworks, ticker tape” by Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Monday January 29, 2018
7:12am
5 minutes
Bad Hand
Mallory Tarses

It was fireworks when Alma was born
It was poetry when she looked up at Judy

“Poetry” Pete says when he’s telling the story
He loves to tell the story
even now
seven years later

“It was the coldest night of the year,” says Judy
stroking Alma’s soft downy fawn hair

“How cold?” Alma asks

“Thirty six below,” says Pete
as he puts another log on the fire
and it sparks
Alma giggles
The old dog Mutt opens one eye

“Where were the fireworks?” Alma asks
She knows the answer
but that’s the quiet comfort of
childhood
asking anyway

“Right here,” says Pete
tapping on his chest
knocking on the door of his heart

“It’s bedtime now,” says Judy
and she’s right but they all hope
that maybe tonight she can stay up
just a little bit longer

Mutt farts in his sleep and
they all laugh and laugh
and laugh
plugging their noses

“it was poetry, fireworks, ticker tape” by Julia in Hue

Monday January 29, 2018
9:16pm
5 minutes
Bad Hand
Mallory Tarses

It was hard beds, good sleeps, wild dreams.
It was soft hands, stark words, sweet kisses.

It held us in our tiny pod, two feet from the ground and floating. Brought us to the flashing lights and the back alleys and the families of perfect chickens. It was poetry and history and a birthday song over the PA in the lobby.

It was poetry and river walks.
It was poetry as patience.

As kindness.
As covered knees in the solemn place.
As the sunrise on a boat in the Mekong Delta.

“Said she’s comin’ back to stay” by Julia in Da Nang

Sunday January 28, 2018
7:08am
5 minutes
Gonna Have Love
Buck Owens

You are wearing black shorts and a white t-shirt. They might be your boxers. Your at home clothes. Your lounge wear. I don’t know that much about you yet. I don’t know that you love Buck yet. I know you’re funny. I know I’ve accidentally said your name while lying next to someone else. I know I don’t want to live with anyone but you. You are wearing black shorts and a white t-shirt. You knock on my door every night and when I say come in from my desk you come in with your guitar. You play a song. You charm the pants off of me. You make me laugh. You make me better. You are a one man show and I am your only audience. You and your black shorts, boxers, lounge wear. You and your perfect timing and your perfect face. You and your way of changing the room so the right light hits the right spot. I don’t know much about you but I am watching every part. I am studying your hands. Your knee caps. The way you don’t take anything personally. The way you sing to me.

“If we changed the rules of our games” by Julia in Hội An

Friday January 26, 2018
9:16pm
5 minutes
The Mercy Seat
Norman Ravvin

Now that we’ve changed
the rules I don’t cry as much.
As if my face can tell
you how I feel without
losing any water without
causing a drought somewhere
else deep down near the well of me
Now the well of me is full
and happy looks like patience
or a bucket
or forgiveness on the conveyor belt
switched on at high speed
You are coaching and playing
at the same time sometimes
and this is a rule you
have always known to follow
I can learn from this
I can play better too

“chimneys dress right with smoke” by Julia at Nguyen Shack homestay

Wednesday January 24, 2018
9:48pm
5 minutes
A Touch of Cynicism
Yannis Goumas

There’s a new chimney in my parents’ house. I’m glad because they use their fireplace a lot. They make decisions like this and then you never hear the end of it. I’m glad because they use their fireplace a lot. But then you have to hear them tell you about the guy who installed it. And then again. And then about the new handle on the new fireplace door. Because oh yeah, there’s a new fireplace at my parents’ house too. And people are allowed to be excited. That the first time in 20 years they are changing something in the downstairs area. Not the carpets or the windows. But the fireplace that they light every night. My dad even starts the fire for my mom before he leaves for work each morning. She can do it by herself but he still likes to make the house warm for her before he goes. If they tell me again about the fireplace, I will let them. I’ll ask about the guy who installed it. I’ll ask about the working chimney.

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

Thursday January 18, 2018
10:55pm
5 minutes
Memoir
Sue Goyette

Guess I want to know what you’ll look like when you’re eighty. What you’ll smell like. Where your smile will point. I want to know if your vocal chords will turn grey. If you’ll wear a hat or not. If you’ll still kiss like a goddamn unicorn. If you’ll still whisper nonsense into my ear to see if I’ll laugh. If you’ll still sneak white cheddar popcorn topping into our turkey pasta. If you’ll rub my feet for no reason. If you’ll tell your phone to tell me you love me so I get it in writing and in the third person the way I always secretly liked. It’s the happy, the ending, that keeps me glued to your station. It’s the last days that make we want to stick around and see what happens.

“the amniotic brine of tears” by Julia on the 99

Tuesday January 16, 2018

8:56pm

5 minutes

Memo to a Self

Steven Heighton

I called my mother today and yelled and cried at her while she was helping me. I yelled emotions, not anger. Or maybe frustration and fear and annoyance. And she didn’t get mad. She was kind. She knows when I yell I’m not mad at her but feeling more than my body can handle. She knows that and says it’s okay, or I’m not taking it personally, or you can take out your anger on me. But I’m not angry. And I shouldn’t be yelling. But I am yelling and so I yell that I’m not mad. Or I yell that I love her. Or I yell that I’m afraid of dying before I get to see her again. When I yell my mother rolls a batch of date and walnut cookies. She puts me on speaker phone and forgets to tell me that my dad is in the other room with his leg up cause he can’t straighten his knee. That’s when I feel bad about the yelling. As if my dad, unexpectedly home from work, can hear how ridiculous I’m being and might think I’m an asshole. As if had I known that someone else was in the house I would have put on more of a front. That’s just as ridiculous. I don’t yell at my dad because my dad doesn’t know that I have fears of dying before I see him next.

“It’s the nicest gift anyone’s given me” by Sasha at Lewis St.

Monday January 15, 2018
1:48pm
Fetters
Madeline Sonik

Would you give me grace if I asked
nicely and gave you spice mixtures,
ran you a hot bath, took out
the recycling?

What if I promised to love you through
this storm?

What if I called you every day
and told you something funny,
or irreverent, or sad?

The greatest gift I’ll ever receive
is forgiveness.

For days and days
and days
I thought that it was you
who would give me this.

I thought that it was me

who would leave voicemails,
roast sweet potatoes, make
angel cards and golden milk.

And then today
as I walked in the coldest cold
it struck me –

the giver and the receiver
are one and the same.

Forgiveness
like honey and cinnamon,
like the end of a fire,
like dew underfoot.

Here it is.
Right here.

“I am numb to you.” By Julia on her bed

January 11, 2018
10:41pm
5 minutes
Midwinter
Natalie Crick

It’s a cab ride after a long ride of not speaking. And you are still not speaking to me. I have done all the heavy lifting. At the table, with strangers, painted you in the pinkest of lights. I was talking shop like you’re the bike, like you’re the ride. And this whole ride you’ve been avoiding me. Trying your best to bite your tongue and let them hear you noble. And you forget me in the middle of it all. Arm outstretched, fork untapped, drink unclinked, and you do not smile. You make a face at them that looks like good and looks like great and then with me you are alone again. Unriddled by my questions, unannounced as if the couch owned your legs. I am mad for being mad. And for being right. And for being nothing but good. So why does it feel so damn exhausting-to nap during the day and wake up still unloved by you. So tiring to keep this back pocket free in case you slip your hand in, and when you do not ask me how my day was, I know to check for stolen change. Hand in my pocket to protect you against the yell machine, the perfect plane, soaring right back down after take off.

“eligible costs” by Julia at Democracy*

Tuesday January 2, 2018 at Democracy*
4:07pm
5 minutes
A letter from Health Insurance BC

We’ve been adding up since Sunday
counting blessings and good attitudes, bending each finger down until they’re nimble. I followed suit when you started: Thanked the room for witnessing us at our finest, clapped out loud at the light on my lips. I do what you do. I love the way you show me. A laughter on fire. A please. A thank you, thank you, Amen. I use the good paper to prove it. I write your influence onto lists of things to remember. Things to know. I know how much it costs for me to want you. I keep my big bills like I’m saving up for the perfect leather jacket.

“Hitchhiking” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday January 1, 2018
7:49pm
5 minutes
Trek: A Publication of Alumni UBC

I want you to go first with your ties of love riding the crest of the wave
most wildly at night with your newfound drunken freedom
from the wickedness
the blame
or something

I want you to stick your thumb out and see who pulls over and climb in before
I even decide
freedom on the side of the highway
crouched in the tall grass
peeing

There is always a final chapter
A conclusion
The timing is up to us
An agreement
Usually silent
Usually eye contact and deep breaths
Freedom from

It’s the first day of the rest of my life or at least 2018
I am here with books piled high beside me
Happy place
Joy place
Finally
My love sleeps in our darkened bedroom
A candle with Sacred Mother Mary burns low on the sill
He’ll leave not tomorrow but the next day
and then it will just be

me

“the grey of old age” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday December 27, 2017
4:20pm
5 minutes
Oath
Hussain Ahmed

The grey of old age is creeping up your sideburns
and it’s sexier than I imagined it would be

You’ve got wrinkles in your forehead
Laugh lines across your cheeks
Dimples in the small space between joke and laugh

When we promised forever
I didn’t know it would be
like this
When we promised forever
I didn’t know so much would change
I didn’t know so much would stay the same

We’re making more tacos
more love
more dirt under the fingernails
We’re making less fuss
less waste
less fire

“little package” by Julia on the greyhound bus

Tuesday December 26, 2017

2:07pm

5 minutes

From an email

In recent years I believed a gift had to have many moving parts:

First, a card, a language of otherwise indescribable gratitude. A love, living. A promise, dancing in the living room.

Second, a thought profound and seeing. A proof, light, opening the airways.

Third, a joke, folded into the side bed of the card and woven through the thought. A humble choice to make such vulnerable words a party of intention.

Fourth, a practical container, one that said The Inside Counts Best Here. I Have Used My Time Solely For The Contents. I Have Neglected The Wrapper On Purpose.