Wednesday, September 9, 2020

WOLVERINE SEASON, by Kasia van Schaik


This dream of       freestanding pine
and wolverine tracks       a field

in white spring       by cabinlight  
this opening      through which you

mark your hunger         
          a skirt of dogs 

following      indecipherable human

my smell is       tenderness to them  
my name an opening      

follow             the river now
crossable by boat     the river    
where I first learned the word boat  

it was here I saw      the sun
complaining in a glass 

where I watched     you train your dogs     
to urinate in circles     


follow     the too-slow river    boatless now and deep     the river



wet-footed through the shivering   
nightfield       who controls the path 

two masts and a question       cracking
my teeth         who’s there   


I saw the sky for a moment / How
unbeautiful    the too-slow river
how indecipherable its bank     your face
lights up           like the red weather

of another planet    this question
hurts me    


yes I knew then      for death
always waits beside a river    this one

has no name     except in spring  
the blind swimmer reaches the bank
flips over on her back             

this one knocking
on your window hello         
posing an earnest question      can you

hear me   
Somewhere out there is the wilderness    
alone beside the river    it’s wolverine season   

the red planet in orbit  
we know

Kasia van Schaik is a South African-born writer and critic based in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal. She is the author of the chapbook, Sea Burial Laws According to Country, and her writing and criticism have appeared in Electric Literature, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Jacket2, The Best Canadian Poetry Anthology (2015), CBC Books, and elsewhere. In 2020, Kasia received the Mona Adilman Prize for poetry related to environmental concerns. Find Kasia on twitter at @KasiaJuno

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