There are parts of my body I no longer trust

There are parts of my body I no longer trust

the umbilical scar twitching with memory

and stillborn hope of a warm tissued bridge to security,

the dark undersea cavern and comfort of a uterine wall

I know the sensation in my navel is only

phantom pain and ghostly longing


she left me for 6 months
and when I saw her again she had cut her plait
and her voice had half lost the melody of home

and half learnt stranger cadences of strangers

and I cried at seeing her dead and alive and patchworked and zombied

parts of her saved in Crayola art thrown out

with the dead bodies of roaches and rat poison on newspaper sheets

as we moved from apartment to apartment in seedy Scarborough


Home is patchwork too, worn thin through


faulty memories filled with the fear of escalators

and festivals with always the chance of razor blades in apples

A sudden rush of empathy for Snow-White

and the misery of fairy-tales which will

always taste like pumpkin spice and cinnamon sting…

That’s what you get for immigrating in October

Part 2

The talus in my left foot after a hairline fracture threaded through
compact bone, stitching winter to spring to summer reminds me I am patchwork too –
with soft insides threatening to spill from seams

I suddenly seem

to see them everywhere and all the missing parts too


bone is dynamic tissue, grows and lives and that means bone can die.

carapaces protect beetles like my (brown) shell does me –
either indifferent footsteps leave us mangled on sidewalks
or we are cremated alive by those who take a spyglass and sunlight
to fry us with their “dispassionate” gaze.

I reached for his hand when I stumbled,

foot trembling against the leaning slant of a sidewalk

in a city on a hill


He let it go weeks later without telling me,

leaving (white) guilt – 

like when he came too suddenly –

in my palm to(o) clean.

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