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,
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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