Pearls in a silver
bowl, half
the clasp, no string.

Among the smaller
stars, fallen

I was your final dance.
The night and its prophets,
all your eyes watching.

You were a road,
a river; now
you’re spindrift,
washed up.

Where everything,
eventually, is finished.
Boarded up. Abandoned.
Your cities of ruin.

Little cave
of skulls,
all the names for loss.

Ancient lost tongues.
The hundred hearts
pulsing inside the heart.

Thread by thread.
That’s how the world
splits open,
until even the moon
stops eating.

Little runes,
small irritations,
read to me the future’s

You’d think
we could mend,
could hold
each other, gently.
You’d think.

Pamela Porter’s work has won more than a dozen awards, including the Governor General’s Award and the Vallum Award for Poetry. Her ninth volume of poetry, Defending Darkness, was released in 2016 by Ronsdale Press. Pamela lives near Sidney, BC, with her family and a menagerie of rescued horses, dogs, and cats.

To view other content published in this issue, 14:1, please visit Vallum’s website.

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