Talk to Me, Listen

Something tells me, I should live.
For what? Every day, I feel in me
the words dwindle,
and hear the new tongue of the breath,
as it meets me in the elevator,
or at the light when it’s gone yellow,
and then red. Breathing is involuntary,
it mouths, again and again. But the heart
is not. It is the sun.
The breeze speaks for it when it is gone.
Wait, it says.

To Be

It is interesting to be human,
to shit and to piss,
then die of cancer,
or leap, alone, from a bridge,
or to enfold each other in flesh,
to apprehend a whisper,
to stagger under
the unbearable weight of love;
to invent
a song for beauty,
to sounds of weeping –
or just to feel your life,
while the hunger of loss
feeds you.
Find your voice again
in the child or the lover,
who come to you
to give it back;
there’s some mystery to it,
our lives that grasp
abiding Spring, and
which our bodies,
as always,
choose to kiss,
then betray.

– ph 17/12/16 (Ancaster, ON)


It is not that easy to remember
why you left the
keys in the door,
only that it was cold
and that it was early winter
and you were unused to it,
and that other things were
on your mind, things you’d forgotten
But there it is, regardless,
hanging aloft, shining its
fangs, as if it were a small animal
gripped in a trap,
unsure whether escape points
to the left, or whether right
is the answer, or that it’s best to
stay still as possible so that
when the door opens and asks,
you will know what to say.
You will, of course, say
there no answers,
only decisions you
never quite made, that you
rather recklessly blotted them
out with ellipsis
so enthusiastically so
that you could lend their excess
to dot highways.
But, that, of course, is rather melodramatic
for a night where the universe,
for the first time in history,
has reversed itself so that snow
is reflecting the white of the moon
and in it the tiny, tiny footprints
of meteors.
This is why you know that
it’s clear, no matter how late it’s become,
that the thing that held you in the beginning,
holds you, as you walk right through it
to the very end but simply
never, ever have the word to say it
so that not even the moon can hear it,
even with its mountainous ears bent toward you,
even with it brightening your face.