Sarah Pinder: Five pieces from Common Place

*

I call you state,
you call me city.
Swing the trinkets
every time you punch out.
Text me again from the hill
behind the community centre
or the dry riverbed,
half of where you are
on fire, as is common this season.

*

I was a crow skirting the outer bodies
with a hair in my mouth,
meticulously prepared.
Or I was an ox rib in the bone shed,
thinking stone boat, atone –

*

I had a long look out
the window – muddy below
nearly white sky cut up
by scaffolding, then into the sleeve
of the city again,
tunnelview and crush,
emptying core.

*

Let me be
sure I understand
what you are
communicating:
do not be afraid.
In the dim gallery rooms
on benches, then the floor, trying
to find the exact centre of the place,
my foot suddenly sluggish,
wrists sparkling.

*

A clearing:
thumbing torn leaves.
Right now,
when my name is just mine,
sharpened and wiped
with the rag.


from Common Place, Coach House Books 2018, used with permission from the press. Sarah Pinder is the author of the poetry collection Cutting Room. Her writing has been included in Geist, Arc, Poetry is Dead, and others. She lives in Toronto. Common Place was a finalist for a Lambda Award this year.

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