II. Blackbirds at the Money Mart

What sight could prepare us for our children failing?                                                              New mothers 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 . . .

On a Night Like This

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 . . .

That Question: Notes Toward a Poetics of Truth

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? her underwear? She wouldn’t fuck him Stop it Her clothes are in the house Stop it 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 . . .

For Jackson and the Chase

“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 . . .

Personal Treasures

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 . . .

the inviolable heart

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. . . .

Switch

Snazzy pauses at the corner of a brick building at the edge of Moss Park. The ground reeks of pee and puke. Looking upward, she sees the tip of the steeple on the old stone church . . .