I’ve been reading books for women
Hundreds of books for thousands of women in
the free libraries here
domestic themes and light comedy. The covers
are mostly turquoise with inviting fonts.
all best sellers. They all involve trauma and
death but somehow make this seem airy and
I take cold baths imagining my ugly tub as a
small swimming pool, and I’m a pale whale
mostly I’m on my phone. I drop it in the water at
least once, but the world has made phones
that withstand this, now
at first I let all my body hair grow in like I’m a
heroine in a fairy tale, time stopped and the
I mean it didn’t matter anymore.
There was no one to see. We might die. We are
such a bizarre thing. I’m mourning the end of
my marriage, my mother’s illness, and instead
the world marching on, time stopped,
And life stopped for everyone. Even movies
we collectively rewatch films about pandemics,
first as an ironic gesture, then as a kind of
fictions to the news. The news seems
to match, and this is oddly reassuring at a time
when everything shocks
every day I go for two walks. One is longer,
taking me around the whole neighbourhood.
We map cats
there is a house with four of them, but only
one is friendly, he purrs and rubs up. For a
while he is my only friend
we think we know all the cats, but posters go
up to advertise that some are missing. Cats
I’ve never seen are missing.
JuliaPolyck-O’Neill is an artist, curator, critic, and writer. She is currently completing an interdisciplinary doctoral dissertation at Brock University, and is starting a SSHRC postdoc at York University’s Sensorium Centre for Digital Arts and Technology in 2021. She has published three poetry chapbooks with above/ground press.