The Goldfish

A mass of hair and limbs buries her face
into a magnolia flower; three days ago
this tree was nothing but bones and desire.

A child pushes into a cupped hand.
A hand grasping towards the sky,
hungry for air and sun and warmth.

It is April and still snowing.
The forsythia, in a shock of yellow,
has come to Toronto’s defense,
attempting to drive back winter.

Mary Pickford (of 211 University Avenue),
a mass of hair and limbs, is desperate:
It is April and still snowing.

In a pet store, a goldfish’s glint
pulls at her eye, pulls at her hand–
pulls her towards its gilt, crescent body.

She is running down Bloor Street,
She is running with a dancing fish,
cupped between her hands;
she is running.

She slows in tandem with the fish,
Its fervent dancing has tapered to a hiccup.
Mary Pickford drops its limp and brilliant body,
a street car passes, a fish lies still and golden.

Mary shoves her nose towards stigma,
anther and odour. Seeking solace in a tree,
heavy with fleshy petals.

North of a Great Lake

The sky is very ominous
And the corn fields are whispering
(secrets of epic proportions).

The scarecrow sings:
Making toast by the fireside,
Nurse fell in the grate and died.
What makes the matter ten times worse,
The toast was burnt along with the nurse.
The crows scoff, the crows cough.
The susurrus of corn swallows the scarecrow.

The sky grew suspicious.
Then the sky grew jealous.
The ravens refused to share their secrets,
and so the once ominous sky began to rain.

And it rained, and rained
Till all the foreboding gathered.
It gathered between birch roots.
It gathered in ditches.
It gathered in furrows.

And it rained, and
The corn drank deeply.

The corn whispers.
The seagulls laugh and bathe.
The crows cough and count.
And the sky is light,
And the scarecrow: silent.