Anger a way of holding on. Anger the substitute. The person that we are angry with is alive to us still, even if they are no longer living. In this way letting go of the anger does not mean giving up on an injustice. It means accepting the way things are. There is so much I don’t want to be. So much that I resist. Turning from anger—I don’t want to perform this here.
Flirting I am not careful with myself
what attracts me is how uncertainty
might bring rest—recovering before
any decision. The rivers frozen over
layers of snow on my car, successive
epochs, an unwillingness to shift
the space it now inhabits. Her gift:
freedom from the weight
she doesn’t know she carries.
I am free to rattle.
The snow piles on
in waves—can’t remember now who
I was talking to
less than one week since
explaining that I can mark time
in this year without calenders
by how much I have lost—each month
looks very different from the last.
Walked seventeen kilometres
hoping to lose a little more.
What did I leave with her?
I wanted everything returned
no gifts, even involuntary—to mimic
what I felt she’d done to me.
Instead I gave her freedom too
from whatever rosy self
she’d left behind
Okay being broken. I wait until the day is almost done to write that. The child, the parent, and the adult: the child demands, the parent forbids, and the adult decides. Unless I am remembering that incorrectly.
To judge and to blame is neither the province of the student or the master. When anger blossoms it is a return in its own way.
Close in anger. When he speaks I often become angry. And it is not because of anything he has done or said to me. It is because he reminds me of someone I was once close to—and via his speech I am returned to them.
HAVING IT REALLY GOOD
I want to write a poem called “Having It Really Good” about having it really good
and getting caught in it like webbing—how I deflected whatever you said—
at the end that’s how we talked, as if playing a game of tennis
a careful game between two people who couldn’t figure out a way to get off the court
now I want to recognize what belongs to me and what does not, want not to move forward
slashing defensively at every advance before I even know where it is going
only after it ended could I ever imagine that
during I was too afraid to know that I was, now I am stubborn—
the game was never that careful—in fact I think we hurt each other
more than is usual—we were so frustrated, knowing our ideal
angry that the other took it from us—having it really
full stop, holding onto it—believing in what it was
not what it could be
or was not
after it happened I stayed up north
did not tell the group chat
read the sage’s advice—lying low
brings surprising fortune
fried discard in skillet
sourdough killed in the freezer
at Christmas tried to revive it
fed it flour at regular intervals
if you consult the I Ching often
eventually you get your answer
following for dishonourable reasons
becomes the path is strewn with blessings
it rose, at most, a centimetre
by then I had given up
dishes multiply with surprising haste
I am only flipping coins
I MISS EVENTS
after you left the reading a woman
turned back to us
(by chance I was standing closest)
& accused you of stealing
the coat—she’d had the same, disappeared once
it came from a boutique in Roncesvalles
(few could afford to)
beloved statement she’d thrown
on a bed and forgotten about
& that night in Kensington
it had returned on the wing of the thief
(or so she thought)
your innocence could not enter her
convinced no poet (or friend of one)
could afford it—now it walked out again
& I was stuck explaining
that it had never come