“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

“Subway platform walls” by Julia on the 84

Wednesday June 6, 2018
5:35pm
5 minutes
People Revolution
Amani Bin Shinkansen 

I miss a city that knows how to be a city
I think about subway platforms and rats and random conversations with a stranger at the laundromat

I want a city that doesn’t stop living when the snow hits
When the festival is over
I want a city that knows how to make things
Reaches into its pockets and turns lint into lightening, paints the sky magic

I miss a city that celebrates life in the streets with food and music and dancing

I need a city that doesn’t have any height restrictions
If I am going to fling myself off of a building, then let it be a big one

I want the me I am when summer kisses city on the sweaty mouth
I want to kiss it on the mouth

“Manifest plainness” By Sasha at the BMO Theatre Centre

Sunday, May 13, 2018
1:53pm
5 minutes
From a quote on by Lao Tzu

Manifest plainness
the starling that eats
from the feeder on the porch
the hummingbird cooing
into sugar water

Manifest brilliance
the purple blooms
on the balcony
you’ve never bought
a hanging plant before

Manifest the unknown
talking about things that
there’s no way to predict
talking about the big things
that we can’t ever
know for sure

Manifest beauty
the sweetness of beloved
morning breath
footsteps
tree leaves

“stinking up the bedsheets” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday April 9, 2018
8:13am
5 minutes
Lonely
Z. Da Costa

That summer that will always be sepia toned
according to you
For me it’s florescent and hungover and
smells like coffee and stinky sweaty bedsheets

That summer is immortalized in my body now

That summer is an infection
a joy
a trechory
a thing I couldn’t possibly have done
was that me?

That summer is a fit body
a cloudy mind
a wailing spirit
a whole
a fill
a scream
toes curled
mouth wide
here
there
okay
YES

That summer is a shame
a cushion
a burning room in a hell place
a soaring bird
in cumulus skies

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

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

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

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

“Got a call from a flower shop.” By Julia on her couch

Saturday December 9, 2017
9:01pm
5 minutes
From a text

It was late August.

I’ve never liked August.

Too many endings

Or shadows

The nights feel like ticking time bombs

I never considered that until now

You were having neck pain

You literally could not watch me go

At the airport the day we had to

close the gate on most things

It was the hardest wishing you could

have been graceful about it

It was late in the last days

I’ve never like August.

Got a call from a flower shop

All the scraps and thorny sides mine

“All my creative juices” by Sasha on the couch at Lewis St.


Wednesday June 7, 2017
7:54pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Mercury Espresso Bar

I stop
mid sentence
mid thought
mid moment
in between
mid moment
a monarch
flies over
our heads
I notice
that it’s
been a long time
since I’ve seen one.

A truck honks
it’s horn
the moment
is broken
the butterfly
is gone.

My sister
and I sit
on a brown
blanket on
the grass
her daughter
all blue eyed
wonder.

We talk about
gurus and love
friendship and
motherhood.

“body painting” by Sasha on her balcony


Monday June 5, 2017
10:58am
5 minutes
A business card

It’s a hot summer. My mother – tan, freckles, feathered hair, broken heart – puts out a bowl of peaches, a few ears of steamed corn, a knob of butter. We wear bathing suits at the table on the porch, wood peeling, in desperate need of oil. Hers is black, a one piece, under running shorts. My sister’s is pink, with a hole cut out at the stomach. Mine is yellow. I get a sliver and cry for awhile, longer than necessary, but it cleans my insides to let all the tears out. My mother puts Joan Baez on the tape player that lives near the wood stove. It’s quiet. But we both know what memories can bring / They bring Diamonds and Rust / Yes we both know what memories can bring / They bring Diamonds and Rust.

“This is what you’ve been waiting for” by Julia at JJ Bean


Friday May 5, 2017 at JJ Bean
5:12pm
5 minutes
The Gate
Marie Howe


my family speaks poetry through me as I walk from my house to a place that isn’t
I am stopped on the sidewalk with the urge to take notes
They are dictating faster than I can write
The stories from our childhood, inspiration enough after the drought
I am greedy with rain and the secrets of our youth
the clues to finding solace in a memory built from our old garage,
the time we picked strawberries at the farm and made milkshakes,
the time we sang to Mariah Carey on the back porch and I made everyone
turn around to listen when it was my turn,
the time we got hats with the olympic rings on them at Mcdonalds,
the time we rode around on horses while they defecated,
the time I asked my older cousin if we could have a “talk” because I was feeling left out, the time they got the shots for whipping baby field mice against the brick

“when you sign up” by Julia on the bathtub


Saturday April 22, 2017
9:43pm
5 minutes
From the Aeroplan flyer

The flyers keep filling up my mailbox. I am waiting for your letter. I have to check everyday that the flyers haven’t eaten it.

The summer was filled with mosquito bites and eye licking. You let me lick yours after we did mdma. We took photos of your keys and wallet from underneath the glass table.

You said you’d write and then you never did. I wished I didn’t care. Then you moved. And now neither of us know how to find one another.

“I can bearly remember a thing” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday March 25, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
From a fridge notepad

When this song comes on, it reminds me of you like that summer was last summer. It wasn’t. It was seven summer’s ago, and I didn’t even have a good time, mostly, but there’s something about you, there’s something about then, that catches like a bubble in my throat. I cough. Can I finally dislodge this? Can I finally blow you away?

I consider emailing you, with this song, in this coffee shop. But I don’t. I don’t need to write another chapter to that story.

“I miss you.” By Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Thursday February 16, 2017
10:23pm
5 minutes
From a text

In the tenth grade I had a crush on a boy who was tall and almost perfect looking. He played the guitar. He was smart. He loved his family. I was already drafting up wedding invitations. But during the summer there was another boy. He had curly hair and made me laugh. He also played the guitar but he was the biggest asshole I’d ever met. I liked him a little but he liked me more. We spent a night together on the couch in my friend’s parent’s basement. He talked me into making out even when I told him I was scared I’d be bad at it. It was not my first kiss but it might as well have been. He stuck his tongue so far down my throat I could have sworn he licked my stomach lining. My face was gooey from the slobber he left behind. He asked me if I liked it. I didn’t want to tell him the truth because of how proud of himself he was. Instead I told him I didn’t know since I had nothing else to compare it to. I wished it wasn’t him.

“soothingly soft” by Sasha in the bath


Saturday February 4, 2017
12:31am
5 minutes
From the facial tissue package

driving to the silver’s farm
peach juice on my shorts from
wiping sticky fingers
and the pit in my pocket
cozy with a white shell
and a black stone

my mother
takes the winding road
slow because i get car
sick like she does
and our ginger cat too

pile out of the minivan
named athena and run
over the hot gravel
run run bare feet
tip toes

picking corn with
a careful eye watch
out for worms or
shrunken kernels

“don’t get it in your eyeball!” by Julia in the air bnb in Winnipeg


Tuesday October 25, 2016
9:41am
5 minutes
from a text

I shared an attic with my brother one summer during a heatwave in Italy. We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. All we had was a spray bottle filled with heating water between our beds and we didn’t know how badly we would need something in between us. When your brain is melted there is just a puddle where your patience should be. We were puddles of annoyance and sweat and sleepless.
One night we were both aliens to each other, trying to rest, delirious from the air trapped somewhere in a tiny cloud inches from our skin and far enough away from all roads carrying oxygen. He sprayed me with water which was our ritual. I sprayed him back. We did this for 5 minutes or 5 hours and laughed the whole time. Nobody knows why. Something about enough being enough. Something about my eyeball. Something about the first time we didn’t hate each other.

“a seagull just horns his way in.” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday October 6, 2016
6:47am
5 minutes
twentytwowords.com

We went down to the water because the house had turned into an inferno that was trying to steal our souls. Those were your words. I think I called it Hell On Earth and you tweaked it so it would apply more to our situation as individuals and as atheists. Before we found a place to sit on the sand, you told me you needed a chocolate swirl or you were going to fucking kill somebody. I paid the little boy who was so proud to be working at his dad’s shoppe for the summer selling aggravated and overheated people their necessary fix. He smiled like this was the best job he would ever have the great pleasure of holding. But that little moron was so busy joking with the swarm of people also ready to fucking kill somebody that he didn’t give us a spoon. By then it was too late. You had already cried once. You sucked the top layer off, shoved the rest in my direction, and walked ahead of me, kicking the sand up at a seagull that had come to watch.

“We hopped on bikes with banana seats” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday August 23, 2016
7:04am
5 minutes
parent.co

It might have been 40 degrees out. It felt like we had already sweat off most of our top skin anyway. The trees were dense with moisture. Heavy like they were holding in all of the rain we hadn’t seen. Jessie and I ate kiwis while we waited for Reid and Lucia to hurry up. Lucia told us we’d hear the owl signal and know we should take off on our bikes to go meet them. Jessie didn’t want to move. She said her thighs were rubbing. We sat beside the shed while we finished eating, kiwi juice dripping down into our shirts. I didn’t want to ask Jessie to do much else. I was glad she finally came with us for once. Usually she’d have an excuse why she couldn’t come. She even used “blow-drying her hair” one time and missed out on one of the best nights of our lives. We spent that summer in the cemetery conjuring spirits and memories of loved ones we had never met.

“Use that attitude to your advantage.” By Sasha in the car on the 401


Sunday July 3, 2016
4:10pm
5 minutes
Writing Down the Bones
Natalie Goldberg


She feels like she’s got it all figured out. She feels it so it’s real. At least that’s what she thinks. She turned twenty-three last week and the age stretches across hips and collar bones like medals – wrestling style and Olympic gold.

It’s too hot to do anything but breathe. She drinks some cold water from a beer stein. It was her father’s favourite, before she took it with her to university. Someone chipped the handle once and she banished him from her room. “That’s special to me, asshole.”

She uses her attitude to her advantage – a free drink here, extra cheese there, free entrance to the bus. She doesn’t smoke anymore, at least not cigarettes, and she swears off white bread.

“Hands me a shovel” by Sasha in Trinity Bellwoods


Wednesday June 29, 2016
4:58pm
5 minutes
Zen Poem
Jane Rohrer


“Hand me that shovel,” Jeremy says. He’s sweating like a fountain, spurts comin’ out his forehead and chest. I don’t want him to be shirtless, but he is. Didn’t ask me my opinion. Oh, I guess I didn’t even tell ya what we’re doing. We’re diggin’ Tiny’s grave. It’s okay, I mean the tears are done for now. Jer said we had to bury Tiny in the yard by the plum tree and I said, “Isn’t that illegal?” but his mind was made up. Digging is harder than you might think. If you’ve never done it. Jer said we should make the grave deeper than six feet, that we should make it, like, eight feet. “What if someone moves in here after we’ve moved on and then they want to put in a pool and then they find a body?!” Good point, Jer. Good point.

“then gave it to his daughter” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 24, 2016 at Starbucks
7:10am
5 minutes
The Govenlock Hotel
Sharon Butala

He was out in the yard gardening, tending to his beloved cherry tree
Those damn birds…
He propped the ladder up and began to climb, explaining himself each step
Then we pick the ones that are good…
And pops a dark survivor cherry right his mouth
And we keep doing that until they’re all gone…
Or until our arms get tired…
And we wait until the warmer months for the sour ones…
Those ones drive your mother crazy…
He scoops her up little into his chest big, holds her with one strong arm, searching for one perfect cherry with the other.
This is why we come out here…
He presents the cherry like a prize for his little thing to take a bite, deep red squeezing out fast, splattering onto her chin and dripping down her canary t-shirt

“No need to wait until we die!” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday April 23, 2016
4:35pm
5 minutes
The Essential Rumi
Tr. by Coleman Barks


We’re both sitting on the roof of Geri’s cottage and everyone else has gone to sleep. We are smoking weed and sipping on Mike’s Hard Lemonade and all of it feels perfect in this summer heat. I don’t know who started it but we’re playing a series of “get to know you”/ “get to fuck you” games. Questions like “Would you rather” or statements like “Never have I ever”. I am having the time of my life. I am flirting with you. Hard. You are flirting back and it feels like we could have been doing this thing together all our lives by how easy it all feels. At one point, after we simultaneously down our intentional drinks after both answering that we have have both in fact had a sex dream about the other, you tell me to close my eyes and say “stop” when your finger tips tracing my inner arm get to my elbow crease. I don’t want to say anything that might make it end.

“late summer night in 1990” by Sasha at Platform 7


Tuesday March 1, 2016
5:48pm
5 minutes
http://therumpus.net/2016/03/there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-true-story/

The crickets were calling my name. I slept in the bottom bunk bed on the main floor sleeping porch, Jo tossing and turning above me, restless in the heat. We’d only been on the farm for five weeks. We rose before the sun and by the time it was cool again we were either in a bath or in bed. The days were longer and harder than we’d ever imagined. Even through Jo’s father was raised on a farm, we were from the city, we knew nothing about pigs and compost and birthing calves. The crickets were calling my name and I knew that if I ignored them I wouldn’t get the rest I needed tonight in order to be up and at ’em in six hours.

“late summer night in 1990” by Julia on the 23


Tuesday March 1, 2016
7:04pm
5 minutes
http://therumpus.net/2016/03/there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-true-story/

Hardly slept-hadn’t been since March if I’m being honest. I don’t know if it was the construction or the lawn mowers- working nights make you stop sleeping and forget who you are, what your name is. But-I don’t know if I’m making excuses or whatever-all I know is I was fried. Wasn’t thinking. Maya couldn’t come and get me and that was fine-she said she was tied up at the shelter and some lone wolf told her he wasn’t going to leave unless she shaved his nut sack. I know I shouldn’t have left on my own-should have just waited there at the rest zone until someone could come get me, or some bus route opened up. I don’t like waiting around. Makes me feel like I’m killing time before I die. No in between. I didn’t mean to be so stupid. I didn’t need to drive I just had to get out of there-the smell of the plastic was starting to seep into me, twisting my guts up. Head pounding, all of that- I was just tired.

“always easier to leave it at home” by Sasha in the Student Union Building


Tuesday February 23, 2016
7:00pm
5 minutes
http://www.abeautifulmess.com

He offers me MDMA. I say a reluctant “yes” but make him split up a tablet so I can have less. I vomit for two hours. This is the reason I don’t do drugs. I always end up hugging the toilet bowl, wondering why I put this poison inside me. He holds my hair and brings me water in a glass jar. Exhausted and shaking, I fall asleep on his lap on the couch. When I wake up I feel good, the nausea is gone, and my body is humming, electric.

We are sitting on the same cloud together, for once, and it feels magnificent. We kiss for the rest of the night and he tells me secrets and I laugh and it finally feels okay.

“211 Bannatyne ave.” by Julia at Horseshoe Bay


Friday November 13, 2015
11:50pm
5 minutes
from a business card

Remember when I used to come by your work and wait till you got off so we could go get ice cream and caramel sauce and walk the perimeter of the property together before you’d have to go back to your desk and count the hours till you were actually free? Remember how you’d try to take the long way around so you could spend more time with me without saying that you wanted to? Those sticky summer evenings when you would start late and work late and forget which day you were on. Those are the ones I think about when I think about you. Those are the nights I remember how lucky I used to be. Your building looks different now: someone tried to wash off the graffiti and now it just looks uglier. I have to stop myself from going to Nucci’s Gelati so I don’t get tempted by nostalgia to buy you a coconut cone, even thought we were always so disappointed by the shreds that didn’t even taste real.

“with the theme of fear” by Sasha at the table at Pascoe Rd.


Monday November 9, 2015
1:17pm
5 minutes
ionmagazine.ca

The night she dies I get a text from a bartender
I sometimes fuck
I wash my
face I get on my
bicycle and I go to
his house
On the way
Somewhere east of Dupont
My chain falls off
I can’t stop the tears
Can’t stop the oil from getting
on my dress
I arrive too close to morning
too far from my father
He lights a joint and the promise
I made to myself not to tell him
Undoes like the clasp of my bra
Naked I’m a puddle of chipped nail polish and
missing
He’s a father so he knows
how to soothe
He rubs my back until I’m hiccups and
when we fuck he’s gentle
he knows just how to look me
in the eye
I leave before I can feel grosser before
I can taste the tinniness of shame
My tongue heavy in my mouth I sing
under my breath
Up the hill on the way
home

“This is fantastic!” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Saturday September 19, 2015
9:25pm
5 minutes
http://www.food.com

I’m scratching my wrist too hard for comfort but it’s itchy and I need to.
You look down at my red flesh and you say, “remember when you used to scratch your hands raw? Remember that summer you did that? What a nervous tick that was.”
There’s a permanent furrow line on my forehead that deepens when you say things like this.
“It was a hot summer, my skin got itchy, and so I scratched it. It wasn’t a tick, Remy.”
“Well you did it almost unconsciously! Look! You still even have the scar.”
You go to reach for my left hand but I swat you away. I don’t need you making a circus out of me.
“Stop it, Remy.”
“Oh come on,” You say, “I’m not being mean to you, I’m just saying–”
I stand up from the couch and storm off to the studio room. “I think you should go.” I say, not quite knowing why.

“good energy vibes” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, July 16, 2015
12:31am
5 minutes
From a text

When you walk into a room I can hear you without knowing you’re there. It’s funny, this feeling. I know you’re around yet I haven’t seen you at all. What do you call that? What kind of connection is it when your skin perks up all tingly and awake without fully understanding why? My back is to you and your presence greets me. I wonder if you feel me the way I feel you. Is it your smell? Are we horses, sniffing each other’s flesh and taking each other in? I don’t know if it’s because I want to sense you so I do. I read somewhere that we never can fully know someone else, but I think I know you. I think I know when you’re near because I know you like I know me.
Because you are me.

“good energy vibes” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday, July 16, 2015
7:57pm
5 minutes
From a text

The year I changed how I wrote my lower case “A’s” I met Dallas. He looked me up and down and said, “I like your style…” He had an accent that I’d never heard before, which isn’t saying much.

“You’ve got good energy vibes,” I said, three hours and two tubs of raspberry sorbet later. Dallas’ Dad made it from scratch and sold it to health food stores. Sometimes Dallas helped him with deliveries.

“Can I come?” I asked, one particularly hot Saturday morning. We took turns sleeping over at one another’s houses – we spent Friday nights in his basement on camping mats and we spent Saturdays in my sister’s room because she had a double bed. She was away at college and couldn’t get mad at us for not washing our feet before crawling in.

“I’ve never had a friend like you,” I told Dallas and he rolled his eyes and laughed.

“How’s that bite on your neck?” By Julia at Belly Acres


Sunday, July 5, 2015
10:09am
5 minutes
Said by Joe

The bathroom floor is covered in dead earwigs and it’s only fitting that earlier Edwin and I overturned a giant rock to investigate an earwig community, business as usual, frantic and overwhelming. Edwin told me how when he was younger he’d keep going deeper into their hub and see just what goes on further away from the light. When he told me that I fell a little bit more in love with him. There was an understanding I guess that wasn’t there before. A glimpse into his young and detailed mind.
I feel like I’ve seen them live a full life, come full circle from under the rock to making their way into this bathroom. They’re not as threatening or disturbing now. They’re just inching to get by like we are: hidden and safe from any distractions or dangers, then fully exposed out in the real world, trying to survive.

“How’s that bite on your neck?” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, July 5, 2015
10:32pm
5 minutes
Said by Joe

How’s the bite on your neck?
Itchy.
Can I scratch it for you?
Isn’t that kinda… gross?
Not to me…
Pause.
Okay, I guess.
Okay.
Ouch!
What?
You’re hurting me!
Sorry.
I already over-scratched it so you have to be gentle!
Sorry.
Pause.
It’s okay. I shoulda told you.
Is that better?
Oh. Oh yeah. That’s really good.
Pause.
Wanna also massage me?
No.
What?
I never give you the kind of massage you want.
That’s not true.
It is.
I’ll give you one back?
No.
Pause.
Stop scratching me, then.
Your bite’s not itchy?
Now that’s it’s all raw and like, practically bleeding?
Shush.
Thanks. You scratched real good.

“She said she was an actress” by Sasha on the 16 bus going downtown


Friday, July 3, 2015
6:32pm
5 minutes
Said by a Valens customer

Ya ever hearda Parker Posey? She’s my favourite actress. Met her one time, even. Yup. Met her down at the tennis courts. I was doin’ my thing, selling popsicles, right and I look up and, like, I almost die cuz it’s her. Parker Posey.

“May I please have a rocket?” She says. UMMMM? Yes, yes you most certainly can have a rocket – yes you can! So I reach in and I’m freakin’ out, because should I tell her that she’s my favourite? Should I play it cool? Nothing like this’ ever happened to me before so I really don’ know what the heck to even do!

“How much?” She asks, after I hand her the rocket.

“Ah…” I stumble. “On the house!” I say.
“Aw, thanks,” she smiles, “that’s so sweet of you!”
“Oh it’s sweet a YOU to come and get a rocket from me, from lil’ ol’ me an’ I wish I wore a cleaner T-shirt!”

“Have a great day!”

And then she’s gone. Parker Posey.

“from bridges to clouds” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, June 22, 2015
6:11pm
5 minutes
theawesomedaily.com

Mitch drove a green Ford pick-up that summer and he felt proud to be so high off the ground. When he filled up the tank he wondered about how manly he looked and whether or not his shoulders were filling out his T-shirt well. He made a left onto Lexington and saw Jennie and Angel on her front porch. He slowed down. They were passing a litre bottle of Ginger ale back and forth. Jennie clocked him and his whole body reacted – a ripple of want and lust and longing. “HEY!” Called Angel, “Mitch Porter!” He pulled over and took a deep breath before hopping out of the truck. He slowly walked up to the house, not waiting to come across as too eager. The girls watched him. “Haven’t seen you since school got out, hey?” Jennie drank. He sat on the third step. “What’re you up to this summer?” Angel lit a cigarette. “Can I bum one off you?” Mitch asked. She extended the pack. He took one and lit it, hoping neither of them would be able to tell it was his first.

“Foul language” by Sasha at Jericho Beach


Sunday, June 14, 2015
1:35pm
5 minutes
overheard at Kits Beach

The dust settles and we shake pinkies
The gentlest touch
The ladybug crawling across the window pane
In the afternoon sun the lazies settle in
I try to paint your toenail pink but
failure is inevitable
You dig your feet into the earth where the hostas multiply
Pour me another cup of cold brew
You already have my heart
You’re already winning
James Taylor on the record player
A braid in my hair from three days ago
I sit on the peeling black paint of the deck
And a hornet
“FUCK!”
Bursting the bubble of sunshine and gentle

“are you from here?” By Julia at R&D Restaurant


Saturday, June 6, 2015 at R&D
5:25pm
5 minutes
Overheard at R&D

I didn’t know what to say, she was this beautiful blonde with tits as big as my head. Dressed in a sweet long dress that I imagined was covering her perfect panty-less ass. I believe this woman doesn’t wear underwear. Just let me have that, okay?
She asked me if I was from here and I think I died. Classic line. She was engaging with me and I wanted to play. But, call me crazy, maybe it was the boyfriend sitting right beside her, but I didn’t feel right saying anything at all. As if she was testing him and he was testing me. But her perfect blonde tits and her perfect free and liberated ass….they haunt me still. As if I was almost on my way to actually getting to know them.

“are you from here?” By Sasha in her bathroom


Saturday, June 6, 2015
10:51pm
5 minutes
Overheard at R&D

You thought I was someone I wasn’t, that’s for sure. How could you have thought that I was just me and that that was enough? I was wearing a red short, tight in the right place, loose in the others, aka “just right”. I’d ordered vodka sodas from you all night, smiling, eye contact, touching your fingers a little bit longer, aka “just right”. Before I left you called me over to the bar and said, “I want to see you again…” It was gentle, slow, it was corn roasted on the barbecue, perfectly blackened. I wrote my number on the inside of your wrist, where lots of women have etched in black forever ink “DESTINY” or “breathe”. You liked the placement, you had an accent but I wasn’t sure from where.

We met at a bar a few blocks from my apartment. I noticed blue nail-polish on your pinky. “What’s that?” I asked, a sip of cider fresh on my lips like a coy “Hello”. “My daughter,” you said, and I leaned back, swallowing.

“Those were the worst nights” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday June 2, 2015
12:44am
5 minutes
overheard at Higher Grounds

Trains pounding through the thin night air and landing directly beside us in bed
Mosquitoes trapped between the broken screen door and the hot summer sunset
Newborn babies trying to name their pain at every single hour
Flash floods and terrible eaves
Basement apartment and a new soggy sofa bed complete with rain-water swimming pool
Wasps building nests and forever homes in our nest and forever home
Staying up late fighting over who would get the window side
Staying up late fighting over who would get Tess and who would get Jinx

“legs crossed and notebooks open.” by Sasha on her yoga mat


Friday May 29, 2015
10:43pm
5 minutes
Intro to Happiness
J. Allyn Rosser


Cecilia scratched a deerfly bite and called to Ron, “Can you bring me a beer?” She was so perfectly comfortable, on the screened-in porch, reading a Bon Appetite from 1995, in an old Speedo one-piece that most likely was threadbare but neither she nor Ron cared so… Ron brought a beer and she closed her eyes and pursed her lips, a kiss call. Ron kissed her. Without words, he went back into the house, letting the screen door swing closed. She dog-ears a Rhubarb Crisp and read about arugula. Ron came out again, this time shirtless and in running shorts. “What are you doing?” Cecelia asked. “Running,” said Ron, sprinting off, before she could object.

“Dessert is an apricot tart” by Julia on her bed


Thursday May 21, 2015
11:40pm
5 minutes
SAVEUR magazine
issue 152


And happiness is a sailing ship
the ocean strong
the wind fair
gliding across the water
a beacon of hope
a sign of peace
we all tilt our strained chins to the earth
and we sigh
breathe out
that’s the final taste
that’s the summer sun warming up the frigid ground
And dessert is an apricot tart
the filling sweet
the pastry light
being passed around the after party
a moment of indulgence
a gesture of great care
we all throw our anchored heads back against the sofa
and we laugh

“She was in a pure state,” by Sasha at Benny’s


Saturday, April 17, 2015 at Benny’s Cafe
4:01pm
5 minutes
100 Essays I Don’t Have Time To Write
Sarah Ruhl


Jackie peels the orange and lets her long legs dangle off of the top bunk. She drops the rind on the floor. “It’ll make the place smell bearable,” she says, honey-voiced. Kate flicks the bottom of Jackie’s foot. Jackie shrieks. It’s so hot neither of them can move. Kate is reading The Bible, not because she’s religious but because she wants “context.” They wear as little clothing as possible, Jackie in a sports bra and old tennis shorts and Kate in a dress that may as well be a shirt. Each says a quiet thanks that it’s their days off. “Working in this heat would actually kill me,” says Kate. Neither has the insight to realize that all of their dramatic death references connect to the fullness of their youth, pursed lips and raindrops of sweat on the curve of the lower backs. The lodge is fully booked with fishermen from now until October. Jackie works in the kitchen and Kate is a cleaner. Jackie brings Kate cans of BC salmon and leftover strawberry shortcake. Kate makes their beds, tucking a lavender sachet under Jackie’s pillow.

“Feed Your Family” by Sasha at W Cafe


Tuesday March 17, 2015 at W Cafe
10:10am
5 minutes
taste.com

At Ken and June’s wedding
I sweat through my red silk dress
Alexandra sang Unforgettable
and everyone jumped in the river between the
ceremony
and the
reception
The rocky bank speckled with lacy undies and
spotted boxer shorts
like trilliums

I found Jasmine crying in the outhouse and
I told her a joke about a mushroom
she laughed
and
snot bubbled from her nose
and we both laughed
and I only thought once about the time that she made me
get in the red
Honda Civic with her ex-boyfriend
after he’d been drinking

Henry and I danced
only to fast songs
June took off her high-heeled shoes and ran
bare-foot
through the vegetable garden
pulling up carrots and handfuls of
nasturtiums

“You’ll be an architect” by Julia at her desk


Sunday February 1, 2015
1:09am
5 minutes
I’ll Keep You Safe
A song by Sleeping At Last


You’ll be an architect and I’ll be the moon…
You hummed those words to me like peach nectar dripping hot and sweaty summer morning.
I waited for you there underneath the pull of the skies and the heart of the perfect promise.
You said, I do, I do, I do, and I made sure you had enough daisies in your hair for the song.
You build it, I’ll come to you…
You sung it like a poem left in the rain dried by the fire, warm chestnuts basket and fill.
I held my tongue tight in my palms so I wouldn’t miss all the beauty slipping out of your mouth.

“Tutti liberi!” By Julia in Piazza della Mercanzia, Bologna


Saturday September 27, 2014
5:41pm
5 minutes
Street graffiti on Strada Maggiore in Bologna

When the missus takes my hat I fall in love with her hands and the silky smoothness of her fingertips as she lightly grazes mine. I fall in love with her in this instance and in all her past instances-her befores, her before thats. Her shadows following closely behind her-I see them and I love them too, for they know her intimately from the back, even though she barely turns her head.

She doesn’t say a word to me but with her silence I can tell she senses me more than she’d like to. She won’t meet my eyes but her skin is lit up and it radiates a heat that comes from fear disguised as indifference. She’s done this before and I’m aware that she knows this too, but old habits die the hardest. She doesn’t wish it were different, she doesn’t try to kill the thing that eats her. I wonder what the missus would have looked like as a girl and I picture her strawberry blonde curls frizzing in the midsummer’s heat.

“experience learn hear” by Sasha on the dock at Knowlton Lake


Friday Aug 1, 2014
2:12pm
5 minutes
from an expired TPL card

The water is still (my heart is racing). The dragonflies dart (I sit still). Nature is funny (I’m less so). The trees are always changing (I am too).

We’re packing all of our things in boxes and duffle bags and backpacks (the loon calls her love). We’re going West to be near the mountains and the ocean (the lake will turn and turn and the sun will rise and set here, and there). We’re letting go of cards from Grade Seven and cookbooks from friends who are no longer friends (there’s a frog singing).

“any kind of company” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday July 29, 2014
11:47pm
5 minutes
wikipedia.org

When we fall we fall fully
Full of air that our grandmothers breathed
When we land we land arms spread wide
Cupping the moment
Cupping the sound of our not-yet-born children laughing

We swim with great big breast-strokes
Diving deep below the blue
Counting sunshine glimmers
Counting fish
We blow bubbles out our noses

When we fall we fall fully
We fall like a disaster
Like a cake
When we fall we fall fully
We fall like a father
Like a leaf

“mostly tiny sungrazing comets” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday, July 16, 2014
11:48pm
5 minutes
from the Sun Wikipedia page


When we barbecue on the porch in the rain, it reminds me of being ten on the Island. My grandmother would send my sister and I bus tickets. They’d come the week before we were set to leave. There’d be handdrawn postcard with the three of us and her husky, Farley. She’d meet us at the ferry dock, raspberries and dark chocolate in her hands. She’d kiss us on the mouth and hold us at arms length to take in each of the changes. “Nadine, you’ve got an extra freckle on your cheek!” “Odessa, you’re one eighth of an inch taller!” Farley would lick our toes as we giggled and shook our heads. She’d leave her old station wagon on the other side, and when we piled into the back there’d always be a fresh beach towel and a peach for each of us. We’d drive, windows down, Bruce Cockburn on the tape deck, until we arrived at her cottage by the sea.

“get a rise outta you!” by Sasha in her garden


Tuesday July 1, 2014
9:12pm
5 minutes
from the Phoenix Rising espresso bag

Bella: You know what, Heather? You need a reality check. Faster than this fucking heat wave. You’re forgetting that floral wasn’t what it was this year, last year… Last year we could barely move that whole wall! No one fucking wanted it! And now –
Heather: I know everything you’re saying! You’re treating me like I’m an idiot!
Bella: I’m simply trying to explain to you that –
Heather: You’re trying to get a rise out of me.
Bella: I am. You’re right. I’m sorry. I’m just… We are being forced to expand here and if we don’t go for it we’re going to regret it. For sure. We’re going to –
Heather: We are going for it. We just have different ideas of what that looks like!
Bella: We can’t have different ideas! We’re fucking partners!
Heather: Bella. You need to calm down. We need to talk about this like adults.
Bella: Do you even care?
Heather: What?
Bella: Do you even care about what happens here?
Heather: What are you talking about?
Bella: Ever since you got knocked up you really seem to have your head in the clouds. Or, your womb.

“Four letter challenge!” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday June 29, 2014
11:04pm
5 minutes
undergroundpoetry.com

It was the first time
and the last time
It was covered in green glitter
and honeydew breath
It was the first time
and the last time
It was a four letter challenge
and a three letter dance
It was the first time
and the last time
It left more scars on my than you
but I’m okay with that
Scars are currency where I come from
It was the first time
and the last time
We followed the white squirrel
all the way to the river
We took off our sandals
We waded in
Up to our thighs
They could hear our squeals
downtown

“Get creative” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday June 26, 2014
11:25pm
5 minutes
from the spaghetti package

She woke early
She stretched long
She didn’t think about turning on the brightness
Or turning off the dark
In the Meeting last night she cried
She wishes she hadn’t but forgives herself
She wishes that she hasn’t worn mascara
Who was she trying to impress?
She laughs at herself
Truly
Not the kind where she’s just imagining that she’s being filmed
Not that kind of laughter
She drinks a pint glass of water
She wonders why she still has pint glasses in her cupboard
She imagines smashing them all
And sweeping it up
And tossing it into the garden
The shards of glass might help her tulips grow
No
She calls her Sponsor
“Get creative,” she says
“Make something,” she says
“Go to the Island and ride your bike around and pick up things that strike you as beautiful,” she says
She disregards this
(The Island)
But goes on a bike ride from West to East
Along the Lake
She watches the sailboats

“a divorce lawyer” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday June 8, 2014
11:41pm
5 minutes
Humans of New York post

I get home, late, from work. I eat a rice cake with goat cheese and avocado, my go-to late night snack. (How many calories? How bad is it, really, to eat before bed? Where does that energy go?) I open my laptop, the zombie glow. I search his name on Facebook, unfriended when we ended, you know how it goes. But I still listen to his band sometimes, streaming it on CBC. But I still… I search his name and I get that rush of naughtiness, of wonder, of mystery, of “am I the one that got away for him?” Probably not. Probably he’s glad that he ended it because… If I were skinny this would all be different.

He’s bartending at a restaurant in my old neighbourhood. He’s doing podcasts. He’s… I scroll and look and feel like I’m eating a big chocolate bar, a good one, fair trade. Why do I even care? He was an ass to me, at the end. Not calling and me wondering and waiting, so patient, so fucking patient with the assholes and never patient with the loves. Punishing the love for the assholes. Punishing the love for the father.

I slam my laptop closed. I eat my rice cake. I think about how I need to get a bikini wax because it’s shorts season. I think about moving across the country and how I don’t know if it really is that good of an idea. I think about watering the cactus.

“let’s make this the biggest” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday June 7, 2014
11:45pm
5 minutes
An email from Luminato

I see him riding his bike on Queen St. near Bathurst and he looks good, he looks better, he looks older and more attuned and more bearded. I see him and he’s riding a white bike with red handlebars, the kind the curve down, the kind for racing. He fucked me over. He was so good and so charming and the sex was perfect, sweaty, euphoria. “Drummers have good rhythm,” he’d say and I’d melt like butter in a pan. Who was I then? Who am I now? The same. The same. Trees grow. The circles. “Let’s make this the biggest summer we’ve ever had,” he said, walking in the park around the corner from my apartment then, his fingers grazing my fingers, his eyes looking up and down my body.