Rum, ice, tea in glass,
they take together in
peculiar form, burnishing
off the white floor tiles
and helping with tremors.
Or, helping could be too strong,
there isn’t much beyond greenery
to stare at, making sense
of whether this fire or that was
set deliberate, merely down to
careless matches left amid
There isn’t much calling these days,
spirits won’t do for you when
tasks are as simple as eleven
numbers, dot-dashing through
bending horizons playing gold
against tin roof cats.
There is, though, an echoed clasp of
skin to memory, deliberating ‘round
an oaken cabinet table through
rapid descent to first principled
buttoning, shutting off, shutting down
those possible pasts I kept
mulling through damp screen light.
CARTER VANCE is a writer and poet originally from Cobourg, Ontario, Canada currently resident in Ottawa, Ontario. His work has appeared in such publications as The Vehicle, Contemporary Verse 2 and A Midwestern Review, amongst others. He is a 2018 Harrison Middleton University Ideas Fellow. His debut collection of poems, Songs About Girls, was published by Urban Farmhouse Press in 2017.
Copyright © 2018 by Carter Vance. All rights reserved.