Room that takes the shape of skin. Room invented,
Fed and cleaned. Room through seasons. Room asleep.
Room that’s shaken from the deep. Stricken room
that coughs and coughs. Room with plenty of enough.
Room with maps and gears and traction. Room left
Stranded at the station. Room with extra bowls and beds.
Room that argues with the dead. Room with tides of debt
And rumour. Waiting. Fallow. Room with tools to measure
Sorrow. Room of air. Room that dreams beyond despair.
Room with moonlight leaking through its ruin.
Room as loom. Room that simmers in beginnings.
Room with splinters in its shadows. Wired room.
Haunted. Borrowed. Room that churns with itch
And fire. Room that learns its own desire.
The feathered hour.
The Muse of bruises presses the snarled,
Light slurs from golden
to the blue afterlight of ash.
Take down the familiar letters
again, dismantling the small anniversaries
the way one shakes a watch
that has stopped working.
The old cat curls asleep
on an open book about the secret life
from 40 Below: Alberta's Winter Anthology, edited by Jason Lee Norman, 2017