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Four poems

BY Ally Fleming

C Squared

A grey balloon twenty feet above the surface of a lake.
A blue lake twenty feet below a grey balloon.
A woman on a wooden dock fifty feet away from
A dark blue shadow cast by
A grey balloon twenty feet above the surface of a lake.
A pair of red-rimmed sunglasses one quarter of
An inch from the eyes of a woman watching
A grey balloon twenty feet above a lake casting
A dark blue shadow fifty feet away.
This is disgusting.
This is disgusting.
This is hard math.

All Postcards Feature the CN Tower

We scuttle in our newness,
feet clicking on the sidewalk.
Buddy Holly is a lucky penny
we walk around. I say
this is the Royal Alex where I
waited six hours for cheap tickets
to Rent. This
is where the Maple Leafs play.
You say this is my camera,
itís a Nikon.
It looks manual, is it? Yes.
Neil Diamond is a nickel
in my back pocket.
Iím growing a new set of teeth.

Here Hold This Frayed Wire

You act like youíve never run away from a burning city before.
As if they were not people and not on fire.
The spaghetti tonight was overcooked, I know.
The holes in the strainer are all plugged up.
You think of escape, the heat on your back,
and you wonder something you would never say out loud.
I find you mesmerizing like a flame,
the way you wobble in your blindness. The way you are orange
and blue and never complain. From the sink, my hands wet
and cracked with dryness, I can hear you whistling.
I imagine buildings: ministries of such-and-such,
a store that sells bicycles, a deli.
You think of the beer in your hand. You think: this is good beer.


There were crows with stethoscopes,
partitioned beds. The smell
of dog, of snake, of rabbit blood.
There was cattle, ear ticks, the sharing
of parasites. Plastic tubes with fluids
pulsing, draped like surrounding fences.
There was a slack jaw, mine or the goatís,
in the mirror as I brushed my hair
this morning. In the closet: a white
coat, pockets full of flies.


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