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Image by Jon Tyson

             you can never

and you can never
step into the same
poem twice

how slippery
the words feel
against memory

against some idea
of yourself
once believed in

before everything
changed, became
more than words

was swept away

one never

one never wins
an argument
with the dead.

they never change
forgive, grow
into anything better.

are too busy
becoming stone, water,
some undiscovered element.

they are cunning
the dead, forget
things, invoke

a vague borealis
of doubt, are full
of lies, betray

every whisper, every
trust. are always
right. reveal nothing.

they are a silence
that never listens
a town abandoned
             windows broken
             doors ajar.

one never wins
with the dead.
they never quite leave

feast on shadow.
have already seen
where everything
goes wrong.

second chance

I don’t care
what happens
when I die.

perhaps my cats
will care, having
no one to refill
             their trough.

the houseplants
in their small
pitiful pots

will mourn my absence
shrivel and slowly die.
it is what they do:

rebirth, transformation.
their tedious routine.
more uninvited greenery.

I don’t care
what happens

may return
in the night
like a cat

scratching at the door
hungry. tired of the cold
the relentless dark

ready to pretend affection
give anything
for a second chance

Ken Cathers as a B.A. from the University of Victoria and a M.A. from York University in Toronto.  He has just published his eighth book of poetry entitled Home Town with Impspired Press in England. He also has a chapbook forthcoming from brokepress in Canada later this year. His work has appeared in publications from Canada, the United States, Australia, Ireland, England, Hong Kong and Africa. Some of his recent work has appeared in Plato’s Cave, The McGuffin, Zoetic Press and Remington Review. He lives on Vancouver Island with his family in a small colony of trees.


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