Dash 8

on this Dash 8 from Terrace to Vancouver
the flight attendant carries only baskets
of pretzels in pinched plastic bags

and with spite for the warning of Lot’s wife
I look, and like burst blood vessels,
the salt-stung memory seeps behind my eyes

while dark horses slip across the coral Caribbean
beach under a full moon like a Harlequin cover,
and I feel a garrotte around my throat

and the world teases me with stories just
waiting for translation in the confusion, always
more stories I want to forget, but can’t because

long ago, in another place, you stole my journals,
like a tourniquet yanked around my waist,
now smaller than Vivien Leigh, pressed purple,

and all this time I’ve been waiting for their return
without hope, but still expecting to find them
in the day’s post like the end of a happy film,

and even dream about breaking into your house
to steal them back, but can’t because I know
how TV detectives always catch the perp

and with my journals went the notes for poems
that can’t be written ever, while I am left only
with flecks of salt in knots that twist my head hard

~ Carl Leggo

Carl Leggo is a poet and professor at the University of British Columbia. His books include: Growing Up Perpendicular on the Side of a Hill; View from My Mother’s House;Come-By-Chance; Lifewriting as Literary Metissage and an Ethos for Our Times (co-authored with Erika Hasebe-Ludt and Cynthia Chambers); Being with A/r/tography (co-edited with Stephanie Springgay, Rita L. Irwin, and Peter Gouzouasis); Creative Expression, Creative Education (co-edited with Robert Kelly); and Poetic Inquiry: Vibrant Voices in the Social Sciences (co-edited with Monica Prendergast and Pauline Sameshima).

Read more of Carl Leggo’s poetry:
Mac’s Bookstore

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