Saturday, November 14, 2020

Two Poems, by Anita Dolman



An honest-to-god witch sent me turquoise in the mail;
The stone dangles, heavy, divine,
from the silver thread it came with.
I keep it by my bedroom door, on a hook
with my mother’s shiny black costume jewelry,
which I realize now I never saw her wear,
and which I’ve only worn once myself, in costume 

I said online I’d been chasing June bugs
across the deserts of my dreams. Everything
means something, right? So we continue to speak.
I received a sacred dung beetle in answer, shit-roller
in aqua, white fissures like someone else’s map,
a prophecy. Turning effluent into something else,
into something 

I want to be reborn, but not
like this. I no longer
believe evolution is a path
leading out. My goals now are water
and sky, slow kisses, coffee
at the exact right temperature,
for my child to want both more and less
than I



Lao-tzu said to be like water
so drunk and desperate
to belong, I leave
my shoes at the shore,
wade into the river,
and begin to evaporate 

The scenery here sways improbably green between
slate, against air exhausted by recent weathers 

Wine, in a glass, I was holding
onto something, wasn’t I?
A “No swimming” sign,
its bullet holes, the illusion
there is no highway past
that crest of scrub and cottonwood,
despite a constant shush against pavement 

Everything, here,
is a chimera, I think,
except intentions and the cold, cold wetness
shoving at my shins. Maybe only one
can be true at a time 

A shard of glass signals sunlight
from the riverbank. Alberta stones stay sharp
against my feet. The water and I remain too new here
to wear anything down but ourselves



Poet, editor and writer Anita Dolman is the author of Lost Enough: A collection of short stories (2017), co-editor of Motherhood in Precarious Times (2018), and author of two poetry chapbooks. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Imaginary Safe House, Crush, Arc Poetry Magazine, On Spec, Triangulation and Grain. She is a bi/pan+ rights advocate living on unceded Algonquin land.

1 comment:

  1. Anita. These beautiful poems give me chills and a sense of wonder at their deep seeing.


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