‘Stelae’ by Rosie Long Decter


I’m sorry about the sketches in your skin
Shapes of numbers
And shapeless things,
Things you only see in the way they touch,
Like the distance between beds.

I’m sorry you can’t trust a man
Who asks your name and seems to want only company
-It happened, so it can happen
Years cover like tape.

I’m sorry you see no future
Without sketches and slabs,
And that you can’t stop scratching
The skin behind your ear,
Searching for decay.

On a cool afternoon
You sit with sunlight
Hitting stones,
Under a sky of tombs and leaves.
Tuning out laughter
You tuck sketches between feet,
Fold numbers into shapes to take with you,
The next cut breathing.


ROSIE LONG DECTER is a musician and writer based in Montreal. She works as Marketing and Publicity Assistant at Vallum: Contemporary Poetry and performs regularly in local band Bodywash. She graduated from McGill University with Joint Honours in English and Political Science and was a 2017 recipient of the Lionel Shapiro Award for Creative Writing.

Copyright © 2018 by Rosie Long Decter. All rights reserved.

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