by Kelly Rose Pflug-Back
Something has left you, cabrón. Your most indefinable piece. It has braced itself at your parted lips and pulled itself free while you slept waltzing, deaf through the dark of subway tunnels, curled on its haunches in the bowl of a starving man's hips. It pales a woman's last breath, like smoke pushed forever from her chest's closed bellows. It flies in short gusts from the unknowable dark of chimney pipes, of overturned top hats, to coast on sooty coat-tail wings passing sometimes while you sleep so close that it grazes the hairs on your chest and wakes you, seconds too late. There is violence in the slow wilt of these stems; in the warp and seethe of the skyline and in the ragged gait of wire-thin animals that meet your eyes in the city at night. Your reason dances on the head of a pin, squirming on the tip of sleep’s hollow needle. It curls itself in the small of your back drawn through the dark by your body’s warmth. Forget time's currents and the channels they have wrought; the twisted faces of these carousel horses and the slow lull of their rocking. Every night you lift sorrow’s knees around your waist, drawing your own long shadow into the daylight where its motions no longer mirror your own. One day, cabrón our human skins will grow too tired and worn to be convincing anymore and people will look at us both like they did before we ever learned to pretend. Just tatter-cloaked shadows hidden among the crows that gather every day on the tiered pagoda roofs of phone booths and wait for the Chinatown market to close, necks jerking at avocado rinds and crusts of bread trying to break the spine of the small animal that instinct still tells them they hold.
Kelly Rose Pflug-Back grew up in a draughty farm house somewhere in rural Ontario, where she spent more time talking to goats and chickens than to other people. She is currently an undergrad student of Human Rights and Human Diversity at Wilfrid Laurier University. You can find her poetry and fiction in upcoming anthologies from Exaggerated Press, Aqueduct Press and Hidden Brook Press as well an upcoming issue of Ideomancer Magazine. Her shameless leftist muckracking frequently graces the pages of The Dominion. Her favourite fruit, of course, is that much-maligned root of all critical thought and rebellious temptation: the apple. If you like, you can visit her blog.
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