Midsummer Lustletter to a Floodplain

Gasoline and silt run down the road,
so thick they could trip and trap you up,
they makes mistakes out of cheap stilettos.

I arrived here the day Miss Elbow
declared she couldn’t fit into her jeans.
She cursed the oil and age and swell
that tore her at her seams.
The Bow broke, the cradle fell
into strong and loving arms,
the people waded into loss and filth,
and swooned us with grit and charms.

Does it get heavy? I ask them. The prairie sky?
Without mountains to keep it off your shoulders?
Do you feel encased in steel and hot cement?
Do you get lost in your hamster tunnels?
+15 pounds you could have lost
if you shivered from your car.
Do you ever crave to feel the cold as the animal you are?

You can get to the edge of reason here,
but you’re going to have to drive.
The C-train stops at Only This Far
and the bus at Wonder Why.
Drugstore Cowboy isn’t an old man’s phrase,
it’s a state of mind that thrives.
You feed it beer and boyhood dreams
and it candy coats your lives.
Deep fried rodeo wanderlust in the fantasy dustbowl of July.
Thank God you vacuumed it dry.

There’s a song on every cracked lip and throat
in the hoopla of Stampede,
it puts leather fringe across every back
and a heart on every sleeve.
It costs sixteen bucks to get you in
but makes sure you get one when you leave.

Back base rattles the grates in the gutter,
kiss The Face on all three sides
and tell her that you love her.
Crisis Calgary breeds love and repair like romance breeds disaster.
But we all let it flood in despite this,
river walks that get you lost in darkness
drunken talks that take comfort in our same weakness.
This town is a shell I don’t have to take with me,
because these people and their madness are now my city.

~ Mily Mumford

Mily Mumford was born and raised on Vancouver Island by a family hailing from many cities, including Calgary. She began a love affair with the place this June and it hasn’t left her yet. Mily collects many hats to wear, the main ones being writer, performer, musician, theatre creator and neuroscience student and researcher. Her favourite colours are scarlet and cerulean.

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