Cara Losier Chanoine

★ ★ ★ ★


Image by Jake Weirick


and suddenly
it is September
and I am in a new office
at a new school
and I cannot recall
when summer ended

I drive an hour to work
through the kind of woods
I grew up in
and sometimes
there are ambiguous quadrupeds
in the road at night,
anemic coyotes

I scarcely recognize my life
in the aftermath of upheaval
that seemed to take no time at all
there was no time
to put away the yesterday

Something died
and was reborn
on the seam of August and September
and I cannot say
what it was

Fever Dreams

Today, three people collapsed
against the Pittsburgh heat,
according to the news.
The night is charged with it,
and I lie restlessly on a dorm room mattress
while the silence beats like blood
behind my eyes.

Outside, my fitfulness radiates away,
and I walk the quiet streets
absently clasping a cluster of blue flowers
torn from the branch of a nearby bush.
Everything is strange:
the city, the heat, myself.
I am not tethered to the world
in any of the usual ways.

Later, my skin is damp against the artificial chill
of the dive bar off Philadelphia street.
Drinks are served in cheap plastic cups;
a dart game unfolds at the far end of the room;
my blue flowers are limp against the tabletop.
When the overhead lights
fall into yellow pools
at last call,
the outlines of my body
fall into sharper relief,
and I am once again reassured
that I take up space,
that I have not evaporated
into the heat
of this uncomfortable night.

Cara Losier Chanoine is the author of the poetry collections How a Bullet Behaves and Bowetry: Found Poems from David Bowie Lyrics (Scars Publications 2013 and 2016).  She is a four time competitor at the National Poetry Slam, and her publications include Red Fez, The Threepenny Review, and G*Mob.


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