Margo LaPierre

i. establish associative architecture

malformed idea
garden pruning fantasy
emerald aura
heart-shaped vesicle
pop-rocks popsicle
magic ointment
caterpillar tent ablaze
grim cloud formation
outstretched hand
strange offering
visual abomination
total legacy
latent creation
solid thought
double helix origins
empty shelves

ii. create autonomous lines of intention

the trajectory of an empty scotch glass / shot at husband from one’s own twanging arm after / after a long walk up stairs glass in hand / upon which curvature one’s anger falters / in direct proportion to the / lessening of distance / between the projectile and his body

iii. distinguish between lovers and rabid horses

death doesn’t come this way except slow as hair / you save the crying for the wrong audience / you hit him when you know he won’t hurt you / but then why hurt why touch at all / if not for a gentle compassion and this love / is mittens: soft, needed, ravelled and unravelling / and you startle out the cab / off the cramped bus / where are my mittens, always losing—

iv. recall schoolyard trickery

we were inducted into the pen club / then walked around with penis in blue / on forearm an introductory curse / a warning about boys mistaking our propensity / for penmanship with a passion for all wands

v. find the other women be together

you can still have bad dreams about old friends / it’s okay to be afraid and those men who barge in / when you are peaceful where you thought / there were no unlocked windows and when / the dream gets/ violent and you step up to be the villain and / all your rapists are dead now / there are meaty disconnected heads like tulips / you are terrified of the person you’ve become and / can’t say the things / you’ve done while you’re asleep / won’t even say it in the poem and / the good one sleeps beside you and / you feel like you’re not worthy now because / whose brain desired that category of justice / it’s okay to / be afraid and it’s okay / to defend yourself even if it’s after the fact

vi. get on that salve that tincture

okay so it was a sprouted need, this plant with teeth / true venus, but fuck the rage that eats us / this is a healing spell this is bream green and / foam cools and dries in lipped petals / the colour of conversation with the ones we hurt

vii. invoke capacity for growth as incantation

I am my ever-chipping manicure, moons that peek / out from under gel, expensive crescents push out / dead keratin, rejecting a body that was last week / I am my chapped lips skin that once grew skin that / once touched skin that once held breath and / blood that he once skinned I am my skim breath / I am everything off the top and what’s underneath / I am not my haircut I am my splitting hair, I am not / my boots I am not even the sum of blocks walked / on the way to and from the workplace, I am not my workplace / I am not even my work, I am the renewal of cells / membranes kissing each other on the surface / and within my body-project: tongues and speech / turning silence out into grace

Margo LaPierre (www.margolapierreeditor.com) is a queer, neurodivergent Canadian poet and fiction editor. Her debut collection of poetry, Washing Off the Raccoon Eyes, was published by Guernica Editions. She is a poetry selector for Bywords Magazine and Membership Chair of the Editors Canada Ottawa-Gatineau branch.

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