There is an honesty to this impulse, which is what made me fall in love with Cass at the start, makes him one of the best writers I know. But at the same time other people have to clean up Cass’s messes and sentences and, for a long time, that person was me . . .
Road hockey. Peter saw it transpire and was admittedly not that surprised by his father’s reaction. The neighbourhood kid—one of these red-headed Anglos whose parents resented the Greeks and Italians who lived in most of the homes now—had taken a wrist shot that sailed well past the net and struck Theodoros in the back of the head . . .
For several moments, we turned to the windows.
There were shades drawn.
We turned and.
For several moments when we turned we gathered information.
The windows were gone.
There were places of lights in places of lights . . .
A moment such as that one clings like a snowflake to your sleeve. You admire its intricate beauty as it quietly melts away into a memory. It’s these thoughts that sit on my shoulders, as I pace the city tonight . . .
“No,” said Taseen. “They’re all lovely people but I’m not letting you and Ami arrange a marriage for me. I am perfectly capable of choosing whom I will spend my life with. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, if you’d let me finish . . .
I can’t help but feel guilty when I see Tito Sisi’s fond smile. I don’t know what’s happened to Tito Sisi’s wife, children or other grandchildren—no one bothers to ask—but Tito Sisi’s living arrangements stand in stark contrast to Papa Lamig’s in Toronto . . .
Spine twists into pomegranate streets
no words for deformed faces, desecrated
bodies not yet covered in white.
Hope drips from tips of fingers moulding home
in the glitter of rooftop cries to god
in a dua blown into jasmine wind
in a bullet blasting inside a woman’s chest . . .
It was a quiet hot afternoon as Aisha Mama told her story and people, both ghosts and the living, were gathered in their houses after lunch lying down in the cool shade. Hani and Kadijo moved close to their mother as she spoke and even their dead father got up from his distant spot and came and sat closer under the shade of the avocado tree . . .
I followed her off the train and out of the station to Eglinton West Avenue—“Little Caribbean” to those of us who knew it well. I loved everything about that neighbourhood, from the haphazard assortment of clothing shops to the soca or reggae that played in every other restaurant . . .
It had been a productive day. Not only had they stroked out a glaring, but previously undetected, redundancy from their lives, but they had also, in the early morning, spray-painted over the second l on the shop sign “Youthfull Flower Designs,” thereby ridding Toronto streets of one more error . . .