What sight could prepare us for
our children failing?
flutter past meat markets on Bloor,
their mascara thick as lace, looking past
pensioners puffing by the sports café,
Eritrean men and their talk of progress . . .
November rain, the beginning of winter and the last leaves trampled into a dense, wet mat of browns. The sky had been a thick sheet of grey for three days so rain was almost a relief, although it now felt as though it would last for weeks . . .
The door slams—she
The door slams—she cannot
The door slams—she cannot remember
The door slams and she stumbles down the steps
in a t-shirt, nothing else.
Blood footprints follow her.
The door slams and she manages to get out
but where are her shoes?
She wouldn’t fuck him
Her clothes are in the house
Her washing machine photographs cutlery
are in the house also
Everything she owns
lives in the house . . .
Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 6 . . .
“The trick,” she told me, “is to always keep moving. And if you do look back, for whatever reason, be ready for the commotion.” When no one else was watching we covered our ears with our hands, elbows angled outward as if to ward off double-fisted blows, keeping our eyes wide open . . .
I have to move. I have to move both myself and my treasure chest out of Parkdale.
I knew my time here was limited: I knew it the first time I saw a café where a cup of coffee cost over two dollars; I knew it when the condominiums started going up . . .
It is my fifth birthday and I become aware. A canary is trapped inside my chest cavity. Its claws cannot grip the slippery bones of my rib cage. It flies in circles searching for a safe place to rest. . . .