Passionata

Original Text: 
Missing Children (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2003): 11-13.
1Clinches in the storeroom
2between fifty pound bags of flour,
3barrels of oil and lard;
4latching onto her beside the pool table,
5her hands are chalked blue.
6I followed her into the ladies' room
7and mauled her by the sink
8among the lipsticked tissue
9and snarls of hair,
10a matchbook with raised letters --
11Where the Elite Meet to Eat --
12all but two matches torn out.
13I took the cue to bite her neck.
14She wore a lot of scarves back then,
16The Count, she called me.
17Her husband was That Fatso.
18                              It was weeks before she said yes.
19                              I took her to the bird sanctuary and pressed
20                              her hand against my fly. I'm going crazy, I said.
21                              She kept tossing breadcrumbs,
22                              her face bright red.
23                              This duck waddled over and bit her
24                              from behind.
25                              She cried and jumped up, lifted her skirt.
26                              The bill had left a green mark, some scarlet
27                              spreading where I planted my mouth.
28                              Two teenage boys said Get a room --
29                              The geese moved in formation, heading south.
     _
31registered us as Mr. and Mrs. Hart.
32I arrived early and lowered the blinds,
33washed up with a pink seashell.
34She was a little unsteady, walking in.
35I went to hug her and she shrugged me off,
36flicked her fingers at the satin
37lampshade and bedspread.
38The Mancanza, she said, her lip curled.
39She slid down the wall and closed her eyes:
40I've never done this before.
41Someone in the next room was yelling,
42You always get the good underwear!
43The room shook when traffic passed.
44I righted the picture above the bed, and drew her beside me.
45Two black pintos, rearing against an orange sky.

Notes

15] Elastoplast: proprietary name for bandage. Back to Line
30] Mancanza: 'lack' (Itlaian). Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004
Special Copyright: 

<b>This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of Lynn Crosbie or the McClelland & Stewart permissions department.</b>