LAURIE KOENSGEN

Window-shopping with my Dead Mother 

 

You’d have called them skinflints.  

Who manufactures cloth 

thinner than moth-bitten, fibres so sparse 

the ultraviolet burns us though our garments.  

 

Our skin’s becoming flint. 

When struck we spark, 

splinter into  

elegant shards.

Du Jour 

 

The day is hungry for us—mouth agape,  

teeth trained. I feel its humid breath.  

It will eat the small pieces of us  

we let fall, the tender parts  

we leave unguarded.  

As with a fly that moves     

 

unobserved along your leg,   

in a threshold instant felt

at the tender curve 

of your ankle or your thigh 

 

—its straw-shaped tongue and bent-twig limbs  

and labyrinthine eyes, repellant yet exquisite  

on that ribbon of your skin—  

 

so love moves: undetected,  

in a quiver realized. 

Laurie Koensgen is a poet and culture worker who lives in Ottawa. Her work appears in Arc Poetry Magazine, Literary Review of Canada, Barren Magazine, Juniper: A Poetry Journal, Kissing Dynamite, Black Bough Poetry, Burning House Press, Nightingale & Sparrow, The New Quarterly, and elsewhere. Her poetry has been featured in gallery installations. Laurie works with the Ottawa International Writers Festival, encouraging poetry writing among middle school students. She’s a founding member of the Ruby Tuesdays poetry collective.

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