At all the parties now we party
stressed, plotting exit strategies
from that ick, ourselves,
the room with its sick bay
of succulents, this city
with its sadistic improvisations.
The landlord is moving his dandruff
back in, yes and, you have one week
to land on your feet or neck,
yes and, congratulations
on that sessional contract, yes and,
understand low demand means
no compensation this semester, yes and,
better luck next reincarnation,
yes and, it helps to think of debt
as radical financial vulnerability, yes
and, I hear these gigs are a
handy stop gap, yes and, some
of the men aren’t even that
bad, yes and, you are paid
in off-brand cryptocurrency
to feel them breathing
on your ears while you assemble a
bassinet with a brittle Allen key,
yes and, you had such grand plans,
didn’t you, yes and, aren’t you bitches
to blame for this impotent century
with your plots to unman us all,
to siphon testosterone
from our gonads, yes and, don’t kid
yourself, love has always been
transactional, yes and, surge pricing
is an inevitable innovation, and yes,
stress is a forced acceptance
of your position, a lesson, a
lessening, a lesion, a loan
your body is not yet authorized to forgive.
Corn field, reveal
Tractor beam, appear,
paralyze me gently
in your cold light.
I’m so ready to reach
that radiant saucer,
to have my frail
hominid husk shucked
from my true form:
eyes reveling in
my exoskeleton humming
its birth song
as my mind logs on
to a restorative
that resolves glitches,
those old spluttering hurts,
until I fall asleep.
Corn field, leave
no trace of my exit.
Clouds, please part
me from residual fear.
Tractor beam, I’m here
whenever you’re ready.
Catriona Wright is the author of the poetry collection Table Manners (Véhicule Press, 2017) and the short story collection Difficult People (Nightwood Editions, 2018). Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The Walrus, Fiddlehead and Lemon Hound, and they have been anthologized in The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry and in The Best Canadian Poetry 2015 & 2018.