A Strange Relief: Poems (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2001): 8-9.
1His wife dreams of silent flight.
2On a drive on narrow roads
3outside the city
4she points to the red horizon,
5where the sun, a hydrogen zeppelin,
6skin aflame, lingers
7inflated and floating along the highway,
8as black silhouettes of balloons
9rise with the moon
10into the flushed sky.
11Look, she says, twilight wears
12a necklace of weightless onyx tears,
13the moon a pendant, opal planet.
14He replies that to him
15they are round-bellied bottles,
16necks down, poured out,
18Baskets cling to their pouted lips
19like drops of liquor,
20drips of euphoria tinged
21with fear, last sips
22of liquid altitude, from where
23one looks upon this vastness
24and sees the flat horizon's curve.
25Must you see pots in everything?
26Her sigh, the hush of fire.
27But he has lied.
28What he really sees tonight
29are question marks
30in their distant outlines, doubled
31and considering their own reflections,
32a darkness inside them empty
33as the negative goblet
34of space between two facing profiles.
35They are wondering
36how we travel so far
37on warm wordless breaths,
38and asking themselves
39who they are.
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Copyright(c) Sonnet L'Abbé 2006. Not to be republished without permission of the poet.