Stock Boy

in Landwash/xArchive Issue Entry by

Jumping ship,
she enters a new realm with a Sagittarius.
Through customs they take hasty strides,
hoping to go unnoticed.
The authorities better toast them when
they get drunk on their duty free
daquila and gin.

A bearded musician playing
from the hotel bench in Victoria,
stalking travellers
trapped in their guise.
So many people dressed the same.
Visors and digital cameras
hanging from scrawny necks.
People milling about
like locusts swarming.
Over great distances
they consume and damage
what’s beneath them.
She’s seeking refuge with
a busker,
tapping to his melody.

She’s disenchanted
And suspended
By inexplicable love.
Her stock boy is writing his poems in French,
far away
as she is buying a skin drum from
an elderly man in Alaska.
She’s missing her
lover’s lips and the
taste of his smokey
and dark roasted flavour.

Appreciating the calm cradled
between tall ships.
She thinks of him and watches
young buys running full tilt
free in their form.
Zigzagging between painted lines
on cement
wobbling and falling
to their bony knees
a soothsayer
praising their stamina.
She sees her future
In those agile boys.

Engines quiet. The road is closed
allowing her a leisurely roam.
A native boy selling
polished teeth on a string
by the port.
People carving driftwood into masks.
Contorted expressions captured.
Selling their land to survive.
She meets a girl who calls
herself a “Concrete Indian”,
and then buys a
dream snare. From her.
Made of antler.

By morning,
stumbling out from under floral sheets,
they cycle into the humid air
of the island
down to the Rocky Mountain Café.
Her drinking a chai tea
while her sagacious friend
orders an Americano
“Not too much…just a drop of flavour.”
She says resolutely
and with her Scottish list.

They peddle for days
landing on Hornby Island
taking a break under a
shady tree, at noon hour.
Later, sleeping near the ocean
by huts that could be mistaken
for a Portuguese villa.

A far stretch from her upcoming
arrival in Toronto.
Missing her connection.
finding that sixty bucks can only
afford her a shady hotel
with unsettled sleep
scared out of her wits,
fumbling into a cab
the serenity of early
morning hours escapes her.
Traffic comes alive
as she enters Terminal One.
With no expectations
this time.
She downs an Espresso and
gets lost in language.
No longer a bystander
she returns to
her salty shores
knowing her next stop
will be going
to find him.