4 Days

4 days is a long time.

Long enough to forget
how to breathe frozen air,
the slippery way we have to
glide to one another.
Vanishing vocals
becoming sacrificial
caterpillar ‘O’s
that swagger.

4 days is long enough
to become obsessed with
foreign architecture.

Manicured Hollywood fantasies
voyaging upwind on
rust-born ships across
neon pavement
laden with peaked limericks
shucked oysters and
wrinkled but legible tobacco novelties.

Pictures framed with
half-fogged window panes;
swift morning uniforms
of brightly coloured houses
splitting at the seams;
cherry vacuums suctioning
copper chapels and blue ribbon melodies.

Siren flavours
puncturing bloomed Moroccan railways
sky trains
everglade express mongering peril like
a balloon you won’t let go of.

Wig shops on every ink spot.
Stars heaving coffee
three by three.

Bow tie on the right eye
street signs
that feature the burning buildings of English Bay,
spray painted snow flakes, or
cartoon acid jumping beans.

Gulls howling
origami truth
folded and folded again
so that it is a changed version of itself.

4 days
I am a changed version of myself.

Trading villains like baseball cards,
shattering blown glass ceilings
with striped shovels
and sleeping in old casinos framed in dollar bills.

4 days and
I have shed pieces of myself,
left them drifting across industrial skyline
with masts that scrape vision in rows of twelve
and navy pyramids foaming at the tip.

Masterpiece optics, opus, anatomy.

A refugee
I am suddenly aware of borrowed whimsy
of alien homecomings and the
subversive whittling of self.

4 days and I am intimate
with adventures in longing
our wandering fetishes
the way we cleave ourselves
as we charge into the world.

~ Nicole Pakan

Nicole Pakan is an active member of the Edmonton arts community as a poet, painter, printmaker, potter and photographer. She is the Co-Editor for the international online and print literary journal DailyHaiku. Her recent publications include: filling Station, The Prairie Journal, Other Voices, Notebook Magazine, the Stroll of Poets Anthology, and Fait Accomplit. She was also shortlisted for the CV2 2-day poem contest for 2008.

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