Sonia Blank

what birds did you see today

eating sunflower seeds from the

feeders around our home

in Mint Hill — household conversations

resound with economy of awe

counting what matters:

bluebirds, finches, robins, wrens,

chickadees, cardinals and

sugar water loving hummingbirds

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poor harmonies

but together they made

sort of a band

guitar and a thing

you could call a drum

two skinny sunburnt

bustling rascals

offered a traveling melody

and a happy one too

it might and needs

to pay for dinner

I saw them

at night chasing

a big buzzing bug

same guitar raised like

the most powerful weapon

this time in unison

and with childlike passion

directing each other’s

moves and forming a

strategy to catch their prey

and that would be it

and that should be it

playing for playing’s sake

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I don’t know why he chose my empty bathtub

for his final breath, his open casket

I entered the bathroom for a different ritual

that of washing my body, yet it was as if he knew

I will respect his last wishes in such vulnerable state

and I will ceremonially carry his lifeless little green body

to free it with a toss through the wide open kitchen window

after a quick awkward farewell dance in the hallway

instead of flushing it down the toilet into the unknown

corridors of urban sewer system

his body deserved to encounter the ground

and if my neighbours, perplexed, caught me

performing this ritual, what they really saw

was a human enriched by this grasshopper

entrusting her with his longing for an end

where green meets green meets earth

meets the life giving particles we will all be

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if we didn’t excavate

would history be hidden?

is knowing about something

the essence of its existence?

philosophers suggested before

that to be is to be perceived

I burnt a candle in a church

of some saint for someone

to have the right tools

and to begin digging

into my love

I also thought this poem

would be about something else

it’s not

as hard to admit this, though

in the ancient city of Thessaloniki

nothing new under the sun

potent sentiment

it turns out this poem is about

the symbolic bows to rituals

and the hope for gestures

to exude the scent of what’s

hidden

the architecture of the yet

unexcavated cities

of desires to be known

way before they’re merely

perceived as artefacts

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a shoal of hatted elderly ladies

swim together in a loose cluster

around six or seven in the evening

always the same spot — routine

that aids the flow of conversation

maybe swim is too dynamic a word

float! they float as if the currents

didn’t have power over them

as if, at this point, the sea would

feel odd if they didn’t appear

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