This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

September-October 2010

Three Poems by Pearl Pirie

Pearl PirieWebsite

Chewing Each Other

the delectable year of ear nips
replacing gum. you keep
the crisp crunch of sugar intact.
I suction out a tug of self-esteem.
rubbery, it fit inside a jelly bean

that summer I spent calling
every porsche funny-bum
and laughing on a loop.

that time when the throat
sprouted spontaneous
salivary glands at the scent
of just picked strawberries. we,
pocket empty, kissing instead.

The First Mother’s Day After Dad’s Death

damn you autopilot. mom got out
four plates too. I set out cutlery
at his place. setting weepy against
will, we avert our gazes from how she
covers her mistake, serving her food
on two stacked plates. I re-drawer
his fork and spoon. his knife’s
serrations groove the softened
butter as we make do. lower case
talk’s punctuation’s pauses disarrayed.
she brags of brush clearing, root balls
yanked, the downbeatnik neighbours
their oil tank foibles, their new lemon.
the angles, silverware to clay, are all wrong.
damn you bodies, thinking you own us.

She Dangles a Red Mouse

from her question mark
and the balding hairy stem
swings the plump body,
its red seeds. it shifts its
shiny strawberry hips
to nose, tries to make itself look
casual upside down, as if
it intended to be suspended
like this, wriggling.
it blinks. he blinks.

he realizes he hasn’t
answered, hasn’t been
blamed in her cleavage.
want one? she repeats.
he realizes that her eyes,
their deep deltas have
flattened and her one
sweaty palm cups his
forearm, asks if he’s
all right, but the hand
is a chemo patient
ferret, each finger
with an eye, each nail
missing its eyelashes.

one eyestalk taps, turns
to look at other tables
their sun-glinting cutlery
and animated conversations.
the ferret’s eyestalk grows
long impatient with him
sighs, resigns itself
with a flop across his wrist.
the other nine sag, fidget.

Ottawa poet Pearl Pirie‘s chapbooks include over my dead corpus (AngelHouse Press) and boathouse (above/ground press); her book been shed bore is forthcoming from Chaudiere. She blogs at pesbo, Humanyms, and a few other places.
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