publishing poetry only

Monday's Poem

© 2008 Kelly Rose

Kelly Rose's work has appeared previously in This Magazine, Bitchstick, Wet Ink and Takeout as well as having received awards from the Elora Writer's Festival and This Magazine's Great Canadian Literary Hunt.

A Cure for the Water Trapped inside Your Body

Death will not undo the frayed seams that cinch my waist
or stand above me in the light
to better watch my mouth slacken;
the ceiling fan revolving in my damp eyes,
their pupils like an axis for the turning spokes.

I remember the weight of those small, brittle bones
like broken eggshells in my hands—
something that can't withstand even the force of being fit back together:

the window box flowers collared in white eyelet cotton,
pleating to foetal buds again when the sun starts to set
and the scarecrow casts the shadow of the cross—
cutting across my path
as though what was seeded in this plight could never rise above it;

my stomach a globe of tears,
the room's reflection frozen in the mirror of a clean knife

curved like a scythe
to fit the hollow of the swell.

We made graves for each of your sorrows in the folds of my abdomen once,
buried too close to the surface
so that in years of famine the small mounds rose up,
embossed like braille across my stomach.
I didn't think of it for years,
pacing unlit rooms flicking my butane lighter
to watch the shadows break up and scatter like insects,
disappearing into cracks in the drywall
or shivering in corners,
waiting for me to put it out.

Sometimes I traced the planes of those hard, formless things inside me
and wondered if I'd stayed with you too.
If the shame that spread over everything I touched
still coats your body like a milky thrush:

your hands braced forever in the doorframe;

every thrash and heave of the dog-toothed sea
still rolling in the whites of my eyes.