Intolerable Weather [Poem]

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Intolerable Weather

The flared sun beats its skin-tight drum,
and I think how arrogant it is to be alive.
The blueberries are cultivating their beards
at the ice-domed back of the refrigerator.
Whose silence matters more — yours or mine?

We are still, and still breathing, but barely,
as the wheat gathers her skirts by the stream.
No prosody without blood or sweat, they say.
None of us can survive this heat for long — 
yet the kitchen exists, and so we cook.

The tonic is laced with just enough gin — 
even as nonsense contains its backwash of truth,
and so we are given what we always wanted,
tearing through Christmas paper to get the gun
we aim at classmates, flag unfurling its “Bang!”

Pull my finger whilst I talk into this banana.
Smell my flower while I sever a plastic thumb.
No circus can compete with the headless headlines.
No freak-show so freaky as the one behind shut lids.
One day they will bottle silence, and we will pay.

For now cool breezes exist for the price of taxes,
for now the stream gathers up acceptable losses.
I haven’t brought answers, just this deck of cards,
so we pass through the space between tick-marks,
mumbling through our hands a prayer for rain.

Self-Esteem for Giants [Poem]

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Self-Esteem for Giants

Sometimes I think I am just the way
dishes get transported up and down stairs — 
like, having no legs, they invented me
to go on these excursions. It makes me
feel useful. Sometimes I think about how
I make cutlery both dirty and clean,
shuffling it from dishwasher to drawer
to dining table, and then back again.
Sometimes, I lick a spoon for effect.
Perhaps each day for them is a season,
the soapy rains, wintering in drawers.
Sometimes, when I break a dish, I want
to cry, but it’s more from shock than loss,
more about me and my failure as a cup holder
than about the cup and its untimely demise.
Each day for them is an adventure, soaring
in the questionably steady hands of a giant,
clattering into the sink with undue panache.
I’d like to feel like a giant. I was told
(probably by myself) that one day I would.
Yet here I am, savouring the chime of forks
put back in their places. I wonder what they
say about me, passing reviews of my work
through the drawers and shelves they sleep in.
Goodnight, dishes and cutlery. Dream well.