pocket knife cuts a path to walk on crown land,
muscles electric beneath evergreen towers.
a lover with plans, double bed with clean sheets,
barges carrying wood chips to market.
she props up a cold frame: unemployment relief project.
we are species before individuals.
little hand on the belly of a whale.
leave the bathwater to warm the house.
as coastal structures swell,
we dream ourselves bursting through.
Mind overcast in last night's dancing, fire guides the hands;
fervour that demonstrates how love can be mistaken
for violence. How the body pulls
in wonder, and the soil holds on
but doesn't fight back. We too grow out
of her, and this digging is just one joint's movement
in a company's matinee performance. Each plant bursts
with ornaments, shades of fresh scars and clam shells.
More beneath the surface, and empty pockets remembering weight.
Fingers blink and lick. Salted air covers the softness
behind the knees, settles into collarbone shelves. Everything is held
in something else. The bucket slowly overflows.
SAMANTHA STERNBERG has been published in Canadian and US magazines, including Prairie Fire, The Malahat Review and Interim. She divides her time between urban and rural Nova Scotia, working as a librarian.
READ AND LISTEN
Issue 2 Playlist