I see you through his eyes,
and they open, shut, open, shut, open -
there you are.
Hands folded around the ceramic,
and your lips curled up in a half-smile
at the sober scents of lavender and old books.
When you've tumbled into the bushes
and emerged, scuffed-shoe and scraped-knee,
he still sees Whyte Ave coffee shops
and rose-coloured walls, toe-tapping.
I wonder how it is that even when
his eyes are closed he sees you,
trying to bury yourself
in layers of wool and smoke,
but never succeeding.
I can hear you in your words,
Northern Alberta ink that rages war against the pages,
a rogue match, blazing.
I see you how he sees you,
a fawn in a meadow of poppies and pollen,
but I can hear your belly rumble with
the hunger of riots and rampage.
The mind can wander here, so it does,
as if it needed permission to let itself
become distracted, lazy.
Time doesn't stop - it's amplified.
The perpetual busyness and bustle
is different, but it's here, too,
and it pushes against the edges and
forces itself onto the shores like any
productive corporate core.
Mindless chitter-chatter and mating calls
compete for airspace.
Both my fingertips and the air: lilac:
the pleasurable scent and familiar feeling
of numbness, the wind against my back.
There is rain spitting against the windows, punctuating
the quiet murmurings, page-turnings, and pencil-chewings...
the sound stress makes in the aftermath of sleepless nights,
where studying and sex and speculation replaced snoring
and all left you feeling inadequate and unprepared.