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A Remedy for Time Spent Wasting

by Anthony Kelly

Disenchantment, lay slow, lay still —
I vow to no longer seek religion, for we'll be waking soon:

With your imagination I find new names for the snowfall.
It's been leaving little constellations on your jacket,
It's been painting our windows closed.

It surprises, entrusts me with the reflection of my own eyelashes.
They're standing up on your pearl earring — faint now in this new moonlight,
Lined up like the winter birch — stuck like the frozen river reeds.

I've been losing my dreams these days, the ones with the cracked teeth,
The ones where I'm alone like the red oak on the mountain
Withering through the years, bitter with my fallen leaves.

I've been forgetting.

Because in our sleep we're arms in arms — kissing —
And when we wake, we wake up sober, no withdrawal, living.

I'm only tight on your smile, watching you
By my closet, clearing out the empty bottles.

Those were from the last time; no longer for me,
There's no strain in my chest, darling,
No hangman's mask snickering in my sheets.

I simply rest now, for your perfume is milk thistle; your eyes willow bark,
Nobody knows if this really works, you say,
But it's definitely a start.

Cover of Patient Frame by Steven Heighton

Poem taken from Lake Effect 8: an Anthology of Work by the Creative Writing Students at Queen’s University, edited by Carolyn Smart (released 3 April 2017 by Upstart Press). Find previous editions of Lake Effect in the KFPL catalogue.

The Poetry Blackboard showcases poems curated by Kingston's Poet Laureate, Helen Humphreys, and written by Kingston poets. There's a new poem every month, written by poets living and dead, historical and contemporary, published and unpublished, adults and children, giving full range to the cultural voice of Kingston.

See all of the poems previously published on The Poetry Blackboard