Canisia Lubrin

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Outlines 2049

That teaching naked-like symmetry, forgotten and held in me.
Picture that fractures the dark edge of my living into irregular square.
What to make of leaving a room. What to forget.
Let me live the sung thing when we awake and I am a startled godhood
amending that incision turning you outta place. A site of hurtlings.
Laws you cannot contest but, lawd. Here you are.

What are cloud-smeared street corners but cloaks.
Outlined in the vanity of ourselves, we draw breath again from a loud
organ. Fractions without maths or some melodrama’s (de)hunting.
And the hand-shake only you and I know. And the seizing drizzles
sending rats back in-ground, back-ward, ass-first, under a moonless tomorrow.
What else to know that means a meal but, lawd. Here you are.

Lewe forget, then. All the dust-filled purses and numbered hwys. You know so well.
Who’s finally lifting the way lower altitude is self-displaced in storm.
Eyeing women with hems trembling wisdom outta the dog. We’ve been here and weary
of the scripture of its teeth, its bewildering ceremony to be grateful for scraps.
And when we click the radio on, we listen for forms to shatter that mirroring
in which we’d meet another wordless space to transform into but, lawd. Here you are.

How indiscriminate we throw back a song or two without dealing lesser scales.
Unconcerned for our discompose in shadows. Land, don’t mention us, the towns.
We are full of them and us, dark things. No longer camped in the woods nursing
broken ribs, following the lost to their last resorts of smoked empty womb, after
arrival. Seize domestics. There never was no copper century needing definition.
Lewe speak, then, by runs of fallacious organs. Lewe own the tongue.
And what else to know of pictures and streets but, lawd. Here you are.

Think your dark things. They’re true. We’ve been many shades before this 

detritus of quay blue. Please, daughter: try me on for stencil. Give this anatomy
of signs I never learned back to its way of winning, and buying, and begging,
and sucking it all up. How else to know that we walk
out of what’s undone, still alive, but, lawd. Here you are.

Savage Interior
                  for Erica Garner

mother of the children who are

the seams of a mouthing: Mother you

are mothering: a coastline a pathless siren

a recollecting the hold a mother in dysgraphis

who mimes the throat: and so what if a wormhole, so

what, if reduced to exclamation point is a monster is here

gnawing at another mother a  mother ditto woman whose

children live a whole particle away from theory from

what the footnotes provoke I’ve been

dreaming of mothers safe

to defend their dead.

Geology Mashup

Ask the naked women
building your monuments, why
through this shootless node of blackkkfoot
forest teeth-sank into, a caution sign is nearly
a wilderness

pulled up from the roots, flattened.
Ask the foam-dry moss why the mottle
of a cave’s beach-front

is a lung, a fiction-white estuary
where noon-hour red ants form
like grommiers, on either side,

on the perimeter of an owner’s
beaten shack. Ask after the once-red of it. Now,
the colour of a wind-strung thing--

beaten back. Remember it. Before it is, it is reduced
a mound of planks, dark cedar paying off a debt,
a bottom-cliff life

And what have you ever spent afloat. Flotsam of the art
of home: go past where you think you find
a history-you

must soften, until there is no real breaking
wave, until breath tells the seal of wound
until churning
the earth-laid thing turns bedrock into wings



Writer, editor, educator, activist and critic, Canisia Lubrin has had work published and anthologized widely, including in Brick, Vallum, The Puritan, Best Canadian Poetry in English 2018 and The Unpublished City, nominated for the 2018 Toronto Book Award. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph. Her multiple award-nominated debut collection is Voodoo Hypothesis (Wolsak and Wynn, 2017).