Cross Words by stephanie roberts

spring swells abruptly in vaudreuil
flower and scent

he    the coming shadow
triangled at my heel while

the outaouais undressed her flanks
fled her bed
came to town nude curious

(what fuss) said the disappearing
what hid in backyards
along st. charles boulevard

i sowed myself on high ground

what choices i was making
what decisions had i signed
the way i say to the cabbie

(take me to the adoration mall)

where i sit in a twoonie-fed massage chair
for one hour
watching bloated white wrinkles
go by

holiness or sin-ridden avoidance

i'm bone alone though gold

it stops raining

the river returns to work
jamaica crackles like pork rinds
in my dreams

the issue of he
bronzed he
         like appendicitis
poisons aware
fevers winter
dreams wined-tongues
bucking hard in daisied-glades
sweet with mown loneliness
post-expressionist light
strafing our sides
& what's in our minds
nothing at hand unrequited
there is no one unmet

there is

this other
               exhausted by his mirror
who brought me along
for the not trying
company to colour-blind
bum-shaped rut

of failure
my destiny is
night's silver satellite
orbiting after
i slip out of him

panama knits night & day

where's he that clouds me

quiet older giving
sterling depth
                       i can reflect off
burning (as st. paul cautioned)
we are toward under
angry with ecstasy of the citrus-scenting
waiting for each other to dock
the river replaces her emerald
and fate floor-length
lined chiffon gown

nova scotia was pulling
the ocean—making butter
full of stars that said

(knife your shine into me)
i've solved the crossword of your hopes
i'm already thinking of you as darling.

stephanie roberts poet writer 2018.jpg

stephanie roberts has work featured or forthcoming in numerous periodicals and anthologies, including The New Quarterly, Verse Daily, Occulum, The /tƐmz/ Review, and EVENT Magazine. A 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee and recent Silver Needle Press Poetry Contest winner, she was born in Central America, reared in NYC, and, from a wee island-home in Québec, dreams of a love-based society. Her work has been translated into Farsi.

Follow stephanie on twitter and instagram @ringtales and on soundcloud.