Like a pair of cats, sexed. Lesbian said everyone but us.
We swung Lycra-packed thighs over loaded crossbars.
We ferried into America on the pitch of the same folksong.
Our nervous joke, Louisiana’s downhill all the way.
West, our first direction, was sameness unraveling.
Compulsively, I put on a girly top and asked do I look fat?
Cycling century days unfit, you threw my favourite D. de M.
off a bridge. Too much weight: books, Jung, romance.
We lugged into unmarked woods, unlocked churches,
unpacked disdain for hot-water campers. Mid-week,
you lost the taste for fresh food and antiperspirant.
What now? I asked a supper of day-old doughnut.
Your exhausted look: we kill the Buddha of our culture.
You bitched out history, shook its dust from your up-spiked do.
I combed out long-haired poems, dredged up bolts of muslin.
Five days to cleave across New England. In Champlain,
you cheered this trip erases, crotch-first but my leg was sad
hambone. A portentous housefly licked a bead of blood.
Remember the antique car parked next to the model rocket?
That was a hasty decision, a lifetime of fidelity and distance.
In our last camp, I was a stack of water-damaged hymnals.
In the pews, you sang a feast of sacrilege.
Without us, a road slid down the map to New Orleans.
Like an egg thrown against a wall-atlas, broken just because.
Alison Smith lives in rural Nova Scotia. She has published two books of poetry, The Wedding House and Six Mats and One Year, with Gaspereau Press. Her work has appeared in Event Magazine, The Malahat Review, Pottersfield Portfolio, Small Scales, and The Gaspereau Review. She was shortlisted for the 2013 CBC Poetry Prize and Arc Poetry Magazine’s 2014 Poem of the Year Contest.
Photo credit: Felix Godbold-Smith
Feature image by Chyrum Lambert.
Click on the image to enlarge.