define (v).

What is love except
my name on your lips
turning to honey

your face in my mind
when I need light

my heart on your sleeve
kept for your keeping

your hand in my hair
anchors my worrying

my letter on your shelf
creased from revisiting 

Your eyes on my eyes
reaching to find me 

my laugh in your smile
I'm warm when I warm you

Your breath on my shoulder
as another day ends. 

terrain (n).

you are made of earth
you are made of clay and
the rock walls that make mountains
you are made of sand
the way you let my tide brush up beside
(but not sink into) you.

you are granite and stone
how your face gives nothing away
and holds everything in
but you are soft like the pillowy soot
when the fire is done burning
and our feet and cheeks are warm
and everything has finally been said
and we were ablaze but we didn't
burn down did we? 

you told me your chest is full of gravel
but when I bring my hand there
all I feel is soil
all I see is a field
all I hear is the whistle of air
brushing the seedlings' reaching sprouts. 

chasm (n).

I can feel the wind go right through me
it whistles as it whirs past my ribs
my chest, previously filled with fire
blows ash and soot past my spine. 

You asked what it feels like - empty, I explained.

Maybe I am not empty;
maybe I am full of space
like the fields are,
like soil ready for seed
like morning, waiting for the kettle song
like sitting beside you, there is nowhere else to be
and the water, see how it goes out further and further and further and
maybe all of this is part of the ritual
maybe they have called for great room to be made. 

worth (n).

The desire that you would
realize your goodness
flows out of me in almost a panic. 

I want you to see what we see
(I wish we could be your mirror)
I want you to turn your heart inward
and swim in the oceans of grace
that you pour out of your heartspring
onto all of us. 

I want you to know what we know
(I wish our thoughts could be your personal mantra)
we know that you are the brightest bright
we know that you are full of passion and ambition
we know that you are worthy of the purest, kindest Love. 

quandary (n).

What am I supposed to do
with this clanging heart of mine
like pans thrown down the stairs
clumsy and loud on the way down
and probably waking the neighbours

What is it like, tell me
to carry on like you do
private in your thoughts and preferences
a softness in the weight of your resolve
you quiet your feelings like you're quiet when you leave for work.

What are we going to do
when my care drowns you like a hurricane
and your distance feels like winter
and we can't sit next to each other
and we can't look away

shared (adj).

The world is a ragged, bloody mess
with horrific sights and sounds
but the worst thing we could do now
is turn our eyes
and look away. 

Any mourning is our mourning
any mess is our mess
any sorrow is our sorrow
any fight is our fight
don't think for a minute
this has nothing to do with you. 
 

flip (v).

You're sort of taking
the easiest thing in the world
and twisting all the cables
with your worried mind. 

You're sort of taking
the magic out
of our bikes along Queen Street
and bad iced tea in the car. 

You're sort of taking
a long time to realize
there's actually nothing to fear here
and we could hurry up and maybe be

kind of great. 

unscathed (adj).

I didn't know
that this was next:
you are fine
and I feel restless
and
I don't know
this girl, who stayed
this girl, who's left. 

You are fine
and I am this body
filled with rage
rolling in grief
soaked in regret
waking in sleep
quiet in comment. 

Did you not feel it
the weight of your words
hitting my face
quivering my lips
bruising my deepest
tallest bones?

And you're just fine. 

translate (v).

I interpreted your frustration to mean
I am someone who is difficult to love.
I interpreted your rage
as something I needed to wear.
I interpreted your silence to mean
there is no response to the oceans I feel.

In the end, it was as simple as this:
your language is not my language
your home is not my home. 

opus (n).

I invented the space you take
I invented a world for us
I invented where we went and
how we felt and
how we knew
what it was
that we had found.
What is it then,
what I still feel
this film left over
what is stuck
like on the breakfast pan
when you are there
and I am tired
and I forgot
the girl that you knew
far behind, far behind me

And you know what?
It was as simple as
forgetting my keys
on the table
by the door.  

posture (n).

it seems
it's all
in following
the softness

in these days filled with longing
and nights without sleep

it seems
it's all
in finding
the strain

that makes the forced lot
look appealing, the heavy hand

it seems
it's all
in learning
the relief

when you go to where the ease is
when you join in the chorus of yes. 

furlough (n).

I fell asleep
in the long. heavy winter
under sweaters and robes
under shaded lines and riddles
under bevelled roof and brick -

like the leaves did, on top of soil
and then the snow after that
I tucked myself in
and tired myself out
I told myself I needed rest. 

I fell asleep
in the long, heavy winter
under the guise it was noble
under accord that there was enough to go around
under assumption that watch would be kept

I find myself some great bear
a bellowing belly that hasn't fed
a soupy mind weak to rouse
a beast without her brawn
waking from muddy slumber

I fell asleep
in the long, heavy winter
I told myself I needed rest.