the soprano clears her throat
a manicured right fist
the colour & quickness
of waxwing rests against
her bottom lip’s full perch.
in her lowest register,
It is you …

who rush between cars
or waits for light to change.
you in place in places exactly.

at the crosswalk, you gain this past
by a lost future.

white iris glows at dusk blind-eyed;
inukshuks are lamp posts; balding men
with ponytails have no sense of humour.

in the mezzanine, a widower’s mute
anguish rolls down his face. perspiration
rivers the soprano’s silk-bound cleavage
as she comes to the point of all this.

his middle-aged lover whispers, cut
your hair, seeks to restore his smile;
jealous & unseen, a boy upends piled stone;
they flower once, in spring, then sleep.

we’re waiting for eyes to open.

the moon can’t care that he is beloved
although every month he opens; he tries.

what is it about that pre-climactic arch
that makes the fall more? what is—
becomes what kills this but cures that,

like the soft coos of the husband’s
desire against another wife’s cheek.



stephanie roberts was published last year in twenty-nine periodicals, in North America and Europe. A 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee, she grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and now abides in a sleepy town outside of Montréal. Twitter shenanigans @ringtales.

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