POETRY

Free verse

Jessica Lee McMillan © 2022

your throat catches red
and folds all plans
swelling our little world
and shoving out the rest.

polyester throws
and double-paned windows
muffle texts
tapping at the screen.

muddy clouds and hail
hit the windshield
driving to the next test
in den of radio melody.

the silver car grazes sky
contagious…

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POETRY

Free verse

Artistic rendering of a celestial body with a halo of space junk.
Image by Miguel Soares on Wikimedia Commons

Somewhere a teenager reads the headline
“Canada extends criminal code to the moon”
and they are thinking up the crimes;
how, on a dime, role models might flip to perps.

The astronaut is no longer a space cowboy
on a lawless frontier, now that we know
footprint evidence remains on windless terrain…

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POETRY

Free Verse

Geodesic dome refracting light on its mirrored panels, blue sky.
Science World, Vancouver by JWPhotowerks on Wikimedia Commons

Rails jerk into Columbia Station
twitching electricity for train
from first city, we sail together
over graves,
tributaries knotted with industry
under sky salted by heat wave

Suburban shadows tower
against mountain,
cedars shade dun mall squats
and drought-struck alopecia trees
stain eyes to verdant splashes

Sloping past
East Van fruit…

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POETRY

Free verse

Four stills of child’s silhouette against large aquarium tank.
Jessica Lee McMillan © 2022

The aquarium is a dial-up connection
to fish heads with ancient stares;
ocean’s contact with its land orphans

Fish eyes mirror their awkward observers
— neither spectator nor master —
and self-isolated species reads itself in

Parents stand back to watch children
connect through glass, electric bodies
sensed by rays and…

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POETRY

A blackout poem

Image by Jessica Lee McMillan. Blackout poem from pg. 9 of Harold. C. Kelly’s A…

unquestionably, we marvelled
at mechanical arts:
the accuracy of clockmaker
balancing
wheels and gears in dark casings
fitting
our ritual with crystal timing

by order of economics he
added and subtracted
daylight savings and doomsday clocks
refacing time,
manufacturing pace

forced into retirement
the city horologist
makes clocks post-time
and daylight cogs…

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POETRY

Free verse

Jessica Lee McMillan © 2022

in attempt to fix the colours,
I inhaled them off the branch
stained deep in bronchi

but tripped and fell at the site
of gods changing shape
in a treasure pile of leaves

eye looted to bloody knee,
drained vitality of calendar days,
secular jails, crossed off in trample

my…

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