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May we suggest

Poetry / August 7, 2019

Transit of the Morning Star

sab meynert, <em>At the Brink, At the Mouth</em>, 2013. Ink on paper, 30.5 x 22.9 cm. Courtesy the artist. sab meynert, At the Brink, At the Mouth, 2013. Ink on paper, 30.5 x 22.9 cm. Courtesy the artist.
sab meynert, <em>At the Brink, At the Mouth</em>, 2013. Ink on paper, 30.5 x 22.9 cm. Courtesy the artist. sab meynert, At the Brink, At the Mouth, 2013. Ink on paper, 30.5 x 22.9 cm. Courtesy the artist.

Commuting across the known sun I take up the red morrow
To wield the ornament of my heart over this caustic city.
Completely unsentimental raining down my brainy hollows
Upon that which is not quite song or flesh possessed
But an impulse toward being I should set about mastering.

Endeavouring to pass forward in all earnestness
The clover crown of my girlhood’s power.
Visage at the fore and hip flicked out toward
The call and response of future haunts
Wherein you love me as I stand. A woman.

The wildness of a requisite Sunday dress
Climbing those birch and fir trees, recalcitrant.
Against the request of my caretaker
for I was an Indigenous girl in those branches
divining survival from what green I could see.

Puberty, all constellations a constant
My long last reckoning past starboard.
Pole star above your navel, love, tracking
How to read the orientation of a body
Past dusk. The fact that gravity

Could cull any meadow, sheer milk
Evening primrose a bastion for little
sparrows. It was as if I knew finally
But the immutability of skin called me
Equal parts poise and putrefaction.

Lavender hordes assembling
And disassembling my name.
Bad infinity, no tincture.
Only your face, a solar curtsy.
My wet heredity that can never be erased.

This is an article from our Summer 2019 issue, themed on Femme.

Liz Howard

Liz Howard’s debut poetry collection, Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent, won the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize. Raised on Treaty 9 Territory in northern Ontario, she is of mixed settler and Anishinaabe descent. She is the 2018-2019 Canadian Writer-in-Residence at the University of Calgary.