Original Text: 
Margaret Christakos, Sooner (Toronto: Coach House Books, 2005): 53-55.
1On every sidewalk life is occurring
2with such flattered crispness for Marina
3She would respond to such accurate
4phrase She can recognize her role
5in embellishing ordinary records Every fat
6girl who goes by is rare
7All specific other people exercise diligence
8Edged thighs also lack of arm
9flab characterize most humans against fluffy
10trees Foliate nature Designated matrices Marina
11is every cursed chick with large
12soft breasts One ponytail whisks Her
13parents worked as technicians with Central
14Telegraph dispatch at fancy time when
15cords were plugged by hand Marina
16would sit at every vast soundboard
17deliberately switching several lines She'd cut
18off strangers in each random manner
19Her parents remained gentle with her
20Once she fell in every well
21also her knees were torn Marina
22can bleed purple to bright orange
23Fingers of one hand entangle others
24as Marina eats each cheese sandwich
25Crusts are pinched Her mother adores
26her picky little eater Marina's mommy
27kisses her cool thin blanched eartips
28Marina always thanks family formally Thanks
29very much Mom says she Susanna
30nods her chin Good offspring Frederick
31is usually already at work His
32plate jangles under Marina's when she
33slides it into shiny left-hand sink
34She wipes her placemat Susanna nods
35again Take your apple she reminds
36Marina savours all signifiers Frederick hunkers
37behind his desk during lunch Marina
38so slim-waisted hovers baleful at taller
39hall mirrors Her brother much too
40old for any form of surveillance
41but Marina wishes she could watch
42him shampoo his dog Steinway Maurice
43digs culverts on sheep farms irrigating
44carrot fields If Marina could sing
45his praises aloud she would yodel
46besides but she cannot carry rounds
47of tunes She titters rhythms counterside
48Marina taps marches from every place
49throat becomes gut Clucks old disco
50Sidewalks release heat of each hot
51noon Boys dressed in blue shirts
52open buttons Every bald fellow checks
53his digital camera humming quiet grins
54almost Cheshire Many girls carry rigid
55striped bags Marina meets her friend
57confabulates why More fat girls walk
58with awkward propped-up wiggles Teresa looks
59like each beauty in bleached white
60sleeveless turtleneck with green earrings Marina's
61nipples perk up In every city
63even young men wear woven hats
64Frederick lost one cap per week
65Susanna picked up extras at confectionaries
66featuring Chinese imports Frederick would squeeze
67her shoulder Marina prefers terse control
68of each ponytail with its ka-thump
69upon her nape She loves Teresa


56] Evian: a French mineral water. Back to Line
62] chinooks: "a warm, dry, and often turbulent wind that blows for hours or days at a time down the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains and over the adjacent plains" (OED). Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © Margaret Christakos and used by permission of the poet. Authorization to republish this poem must be obtained from her in writing.