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"These little suckers", "The second language washing over me is sunset " Ren Pike

These little suckers

I rhyme too much. Despite my best

efforts, words bend over. Touch each

other. Hold hands. One syllable

slyly slides into another.

Bumpy bits sticking. Fricking.

Hell. I start out all aim-ful, side

glances. Soft almosts. Whispery

drones of meaningful bees. On their

knees vomiting up. Abomin-

ations. Transmogrification.

Too much and too loud. No one

wants this. By all means, open

a vein. But don't be naïve. I started

this year saying, I'd be more chill.

I lasted all of ten minutes.

I thought I might die.

The second language washing over me is sunset

The second language washing over me is sunset. I am

out of sight of land. Undertowed and rip-tided. Amused

by diving schools of conjugations. Drift net thready.

Talk to me in shallow dolphin-tries. Slick eels and lion manes

gleaming. Rough-hewn boats. Push off from port. Tickles now

for passage. Everyone's frothing. Dropping sea glass

offerings. Mouths beyond imagining. Oh my, my—o'er head

eyes. Billionaire wide. Once more the revolution scuppered.

Le Moustier's successors

construction is done

for today, hoarding

fence precarious

gravel tarps rustle

under stoic boulders

from the last ice age

worker bees hulk

buzz-less, barbs-up

snow settling in

every vinyl crevasse,

dropped tool stillness

awaits excavation

urgent orange

stalagmites take the hits

a solitary garbage bag

half-filled with shite

opens and closes

its cavernous mouth

every gust a lonesome

cry—au secours!

il va faire bientôt nuit!

pas prêt! pas prêt!

Welcome to the half life

Welcome to the half life. This point

of inflection and subtraction.

My instability is common

knowledge. Now that you all know

here are the questions. Discuss.

This feels increasingly un-like my garden.

Regardless, tomorrow I will pick up

the hoe of displeasure, and till the soil

of insubstantial posturings. I may still

look the same on the outside. Even maintain

the identical weight. But inside, my nuclei are

shedding. I am a fragment of what I was.

At 50%. That's not dust in the air. Soon.

And sooner. I will be something else again.

Ren Pike grew up in Newfoundland. Through sheer luck, she was born into a family who understood the exceptional value of a library card. When she is not writing, she wrangles technology and data in Calgary, Canada.


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