Silver

BY MICHAEL FRASER

I should be happier than I am now.
Tomorrow, my son will exit the cornucopia’s
rim and furnish scant lungs. The baby’s
cry, and the by-product of leaves. Here inside
Mitzi’s Sister, the music has changed. How the
branches on my face have widened is noticeable.
My generation has mined its time. That letter “X”,
bookending our collective name, has lost its function,
buried all meaning. Why am I thinking of insomnia
and bills now, the selfishness of dragging tender
eyes into this world at my grizzled age. Still, even
without the economy, the mortgage will remain
seated for years. Look at the salt and pepper
landscape all around Sorauren. We are old parents
pushing strollers up and down Roncesvalles,
epilogues of a shadowed cohort.

Prom

BY MICHAEL FRASER

The teeth-grin Trini tailor
wrapped unlimited jokes
tagging rustic Grenadians
as docile under breadfruit trees
while he ran taped numbers down
my pant length, then apologized
when I unearthed my birthplace.

My date Sarah said I bought
the wrong suit. If there was
a domain for taste, I wasn’t in
it. The flowers sufficed, yet she
still shaped the night with
down-turned lips.

Our boat was a bonnet
blue-glazed in Toronto harbour.
We unrolled Gran & Toy admit-one
tickets and drank the owners into
ice-cube cold debt. Sound of dance
feet bubbling from stern to starboard.
Although the yacht rocked, we didn’t
breathe deep enough to say goodbye
to our youth.

I wrote a poem and claimed
rug space between chamber beds
before half my year crashed in
room 1214 of overrun Chestnut
Hotel. It was the closest we
had ever been.

Michael Fraser is a graduate of York University and the University of Toronto. He has been published in anthologies and journals nationally and internationally including: Paris Atlantic, Arc, and The Caribbean Writer. His manuscript, The Serenity of Stone, won the 2007 Canadian Aid Literary Award Contest and was published by Bookland Press in 2008. He won Arc’s 2012 Reader’s Choice Poem of the Year. He was also published in The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2013. He won Freefall’s 2014 and 2015 Poetry Contests. His latest book is To Greet Yourself Arriving (Tightrope Books, 2016). He is the creator and former-director of the Plasticine Poetry Series in Toronto.

 

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