Yellowknife

Yellow anaglypta sky,
Mulchy leaves like mirrors;

Yellows, pinkish too alight,
Grounded sky implied

And downward falling rivers,
Pre-crepuscular,

What was their objective, stripped?
To end here, nearer, those souls

With tanks trapped in sand,
Engines choked, gears stuck,

What was to be delivered
For all we held dear?

Are we this bored with ourselves
Because we did not go to war?

Dawn solo,
Lonely blackbird,

Forbidden sky,
Foreboding and with an egg

Frying on a bonnet in the middle,
Upside down,

Yellow clouds
So close to the surface

I do not know if we fell out.
Rain, thick and heavy as

Lovers’ heartbeats;
You were to go swimming

With your uncle
Who has not changed since

He was last seen way back when,
And which would not ever happen

In this duality, neither yours nor mine.
He took a bicycle without asking,

The one I cannot ride on,
Knowing full well the municipal pool

Is in that part of town
With thefts in spate.

I woke on a motel bed in Yellowknife,
No duvet, no sheets,

The side of my head was swollen,
A fearful headache,

Empty whiskey glass beside
A faulty bedside lamp

Which began to reach into my mind
And my only thought

As I heard their sex through
A wall behind my head, was this,

Of how war may well be madness,
But families, often, more so.

I used the toilet, sipped a drink
That was not there,

Then climbed naked back
Into that cold, uncovered bed.