For Kayla Czaga
Makes you think of orange condoms,
your birthright. The mittens in the dresser
lined with paper like the girl you knew
who covered the toilet seat with tissue.
Kitimat is a fjord, just ocean
between it and China. The sign is a suggestion
of space, the fence in your backyard.
You wear contacts so there’s less between you
& the world. You want to see what’s coming.
The first time you hiked Buntzen Lake, the edge
on your tongue. You didn’t know where you were
going, know where you had come from.
Mountains held you in and still do. You long
for fields, the retreating tallgrass prairie
in the Red River Valley. When the grass shivers,
you know the wind started in the south and will go on.
Claire Matthews’s work has appeared in Loose Lips Magazine, Joyland, Arc Poetry Magazine, Plenitude Magazine, EVENT, and is forthcoming in Grain. Her poetry was long-listed for the 2013 CBC Canada Writes Poetry Prize. She’s currently working on a collection of essays titled, I Bet You Think This Book Is About You. In her spare time, she makes soap and drinks whisky.