is the colour of the coat
you wore when we were in Halifax
visiting your older brother.
He went to art school there;
tattoos running rivers up and down his arms
the fold-out couch he had for us reeked of pot
Rained half the time
That was the first one to go.
That’s why I sold the Pontiac
and take the metro to the specialist
the Yellow line underground, across town.
is the colour of the Warhol Banana
on the cover of the Velvet Underground record
we listened to ad nauseum.
Heroin angel lullabyes
to drown out the grunting of my roommate
and the false cries of passion
of his weekend lovers.
The record didn’t survive the migration
across the mountains in the Pontiac’s trunk
you said we’d buy another
in case we needed Nico to howl down
a neighbour’s yapping dog.
I still catch glimpses of it
but only in the corners, the periphery
of the right, the left
is a lost cause, but I still can’t help
but try while I’m in the waiting room
what else is there to do in a waiting room
but catch up on fifty different sex positions to drive him wild
and casserole recipes for under ten dollars.
is the colour of the dollar bills
I pressed into the hands of the cabby
that got us through the winter’s worst blizzard
to the theatre, only for us to find
we were five minutes late
and the usher was a tyrannical bitch.
You said it was okay,
King Lear was lousy anyway,
you just suggested it because you wanted
to look smart.
An hour later, corner booth at a greasy spoon
lousy coffee, apple pie, secrets and lies but you’ll never tell which is which
three hours later, you’re wearing nothing but my UofS hoodie
marvelling at just how fat I used to be
claiming the better of my two pillows, and telling me
that you’re not normally like this on first dates
but damn, I like your kind of crazy.
Green dollar bills.
With that one gone,
the rest went quicker
and the specialist says
I will have to adapt
my future rests in my fingers, he says
and I have homework again for the first time
Big blue binders, thick books
slabs of dots, stuffed into backpacks,
studied on busses as the daytime
is the colour of the dress you wore
to my sister’s wedding.
The band was great
the speeches were lousy
and I had trouble finding the microphone.
I had trouble finding everything,
I felt like an infant, my hands
were not ready for this.
The knots in the tablecloth,
the thick cardstock, the slightly raised letters
celebrating the new Mr and Mrs.
The soft sponge cake, the cotton of my tie,
the blue dress.
We tried a slow shuffle to a U2 crooner,
and I couldn’t lead without stepping on toes.
You said you didn’t mind.
I didn’t believe you.
And then all the colours went
and there started being less of everything else
like a pen, stuttering out of ink
one letter at a time.
The lines, the shapes, the curves and contours
The whole world retreating to the edges
and then falling off
and falling off
and I’m angry
not really sure at who
because I only had time to gather up
a finite number of paints to recreate
the person in my bed beside me
Every morning, rebuilding
tracing the outline, shading, drawing you out
like a constellation along my empty-lot irises.
And I wish I had more.
But I think this will be enough.