• Ann Vickery


Always over one’s shoulder, you’ll find the trees that forgot to breathe.
Beyond that, pole stars of the poets along a clothes line
peg-legging to an astral waltz. Between the part of the land
and the part of the fence that forms the word
shriven fantasies make real through twirling baton practice.
Slight politicians or the predator foxes that skulk across
the laneway. Neighbours that forgot to watch.
The glory of going from Plan A to Plan B recklessly
rides one to houndstooth, bitten not frayed
in the precluding capitalist night. Songs that promise refuge
against nations that do not. The buttons keep falling off
your luminous, son-of-a-gun reputation. With all the frontier mentality
of a screen door, you tore the flyleaf from Hopalong Cassidy’s book.
I reneged on our pact not to care more than the other. Came a Topper
in a grand strategy endgame, manoeuvred to horsemate.
Sarsparilla still perfumes the range; gummed up excursus
rots alongside Western solitude. Didn’t Bataille say
we all had to enjoy this inner experience?
Affection never did find a home where it wanted to stay.
The ideal flares up as goosebumps on the earth’s curved hide,
les poètes maudit ghost-managing lights for your last party speech.