To draw a halo use a pair of compasses.
When we lean together our burning profiles shatter
the black funerary urn between us.
Oh, nobody can work the negative spaces
like you, kiddo.
Embossing tools etch patterns onto gilt.
Then there is all that chewing to get through.
Tea? you ask suddenly, offering the teapot.
Sunlight cuts to the bone, the toast roars
flee not tea. Blight, thunder, famine, blood.
Angels spin like toys inside their whirling hours.
Your slow cistern rage drains, drains, and fills up again,
as it does every winter morning.
And in the eastern sky an advertisement,
for the Constellation Mercy, clicks off.
Breakfast is the worst time for stigmata, the linens
a bloodbath. Thanks be Sister Hen for the bounty
of your eggs, Brother Frying Pan for your Teflon surface.
Kiddo, even the forks in their narrow kitchen drawers
dun themselves on your scribble scribble flesh.
Tap lightly with hammer to preserve gold leaf.
Your bait hands loaded on the tablecloth. Fill.
And your spit-polished shoes, and the spaces between
is drip, empty, overflow, repeat.
Double the radius of grudging agreement
to measure fidelity, kiddo, grievance, or the radiant ascent.
But I, I am lifted into that rigging of violence and air,
where history and the stars come out, begin to shine.
And your head nimbus buzzes like a cheap neon sign.
Méira Cook’s most recent book of poetry was A Walker in the City (Brick). Her novel, The House on Sugarbush Road (Enfield & Wizenty), won the McNally-Robinson Manitoba Book of the Year Award. She is currently working as the Writer-in-Residence at the Winnipeg Public Library.
the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan