The tower has a vacant lot. Grey-green hills children would roll down,
then the wire fence with the locked door. Everyone stares
through holes while they lean against stone and smoke.
There were plans to build another tower. There were protests.
It won’t contain itself. Cigarettes, bottles and window panes falling,
the city refused for the silver and gold merchants of Antique Row.
Another tower would make an intimate alley: words in fog, binoculars,
obsessions. We stare through holes. Shadows press against light;
a boy kneels down. He touches the ground for what is lost.
Let me be that fine fallen thing, that way in his hands.
The rain is here, and the sirens.
Under the Willow
April light is fearful, and every day growing. Rhys and aunts and mums
cradle Alistair. Blue ribbon baby, golden, divine: who is he, and he, and her.
The witches warning: I’ll fly off, in deep fogs and tempests,
for quarter of me still lives in the forest where the earth slips away.
I write notes (apologies, stream of consciousness, a diary) in his nursery
with the train and dark crowds of bears. He hardly cries. I cry for all:
for spilling things and want; wanting sleep; and Rhys away working with the blonde
who called me a lunatic. I know he told her. I rolled naked on the road
and ran through woods with vines snapping at my belly.
At midnight I smoke under the willow, swing high over his dark garden,
exhaling halos, clouds, gold and grey.
So I Ran Here in My Nightgown
Street-lit tree branches as nerves and bones, and hard music from the strip club’s door opening
and closing until morning; Rhys’ old room at the hotel, the bed by faded rose drapes.
Almost done the diary with the belts and the pin on a string. A lover read it against my will.
So I ran here in my nightgown, combat boots and fur.
A lady let me in. She read my tea leaves: ivy, an owl, a veil. To have faith in the dark, to see.
Yesterday I went to the tower. Rhys’ place was occupied, yet there was the room on the top
storey where the boys lived. Vacant since a man fell from the balcony.
I bought mother-of-pearl opera glasses for the pattern of leaves in the air.
Ariel Dawn lives in Victoria, British Columbia. Her work appears in places such as Litro, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Ambit, Haverthorn, and Paper Swans, and is forthcoming in Elbow Room. She is finishing her first collection of poems.