by Alais Mara

Misunderstanding sucks the sun out of the sky

leans the walls in and expands my heaving heart until all I see is red 

all I feel is the urge to run. 

You smile and tell me, 

All of these shadows are harmless, my love. 

While you smooth out the knots of someone else’s day

and my own muscles bunch, wring their tense hands.

How do I distance myself from my own feelings?

We’re running out of toilet paper. 

We aren’t worried. 

Easier to talk about toilet paper than helplessness

God! There is no way to navigate the strange pathways of my own heart. 

I put my back to the sun because I’m not ready for that kind of clarity.

Alais Mara lives in Abbotsford, BC, Canada with her husband, three kids and elderly cat, Bruce. She has been writing poetry since she was 5 and considers writing more of a compulsion than anything else. Her poetry is informed by nature, sex and the experience of being a woman and a mother in a sexist, bigoted culture.

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