by Gord Sellar

there is only one book that secretly all
are obliged to read, its single page
covered in scrawl that changes with each breath,
with every thought, the lines of text that turn
and bind themselves into knots, each one.

it is much harder when cities don’t sound exotic
like, say, Atthis under a rose-fingered moon
much harder when there is no room for music,
no room weave in, no snide ελεπτολιζ,
no ελανδροζ on which to lay the weight of the world.

fishy shadow and whitecap everywhere, the brine
fails not to wash over the bodies of those
who manage to swim to the shore, to come to a land
close enough that they speak the same language, can tell
you the way home. even there, the ocean comes

to the body again, scouring. some ways it cleanses
but only brackishly. you lie on your back and try
to breathe. you wonder what your name was, or is.
you imagine seeing land, seeing masts, strange women
crossing the surface of the water to attend to you.

— Montreal, 1999

February 11, 2012

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