Except for a sadistic thing
about cops, I’ve never gone for
lines of authority. When you called
all those extra meetings about logistics
I clutched paper cups of coffee
until my palms burned.
I resented you, a little,
for the inefficiency of always
inviting the driver. I keep
reminding myself: You came to me
because I’m a man with a certain
reputation. Then you look at me
and I feel fast as capital.
Someone tried to break your face once
and you wear the scars like a dancer’s costume,
parallel to the point. I keep imagining after,
when we’re improbably alone, you’ll kiss me shyly
next to stacks and stacks of fresh bills
on a bed. (What bed?) Don’t get bogged down
in the details of the arrangement
or your history with knives and really,
we’re contemporaries. When the thrill fades
to a hum, you’ll need someone to remind you
when we were incandescent with greed.
The steering wheel is getting warm
under my hands (the heat of your shoulders
through a leather jacket). I’m watching the pocket of air
around the corner so intently I might
be shaking. You should appear. I hate this but
it’s probably my favourite part—
anything could begin to happen.
The Big Dipper Wants Me (Lord, I Can’t Go Back There)
The boat is not called True Love Waits. Sometimes, from the shore
of the St. Lawrence Seaway: a twitter of lights like a stranger’s
cool thick hand moving you aside in a crowd, and then gone.
I know I’ve been gone a long time too, but all that’s a matter
of public record. And, I didn’t name the boat.
As if Orion’s hands never go down to his belt
when no one’s looking. If we found each other again,
I’d tease your eyeballs out and roll them around in my mouth
until I knew they were innocent. Of course, I’ll give them back.
But those new reporters with their tin-can tape recorders
will manage to get this all wrong: I’m not a frivolous criminal,
and I know how to trim a sail.
Meghan Harrison lives in Toronto. Her poetry has appeared in The New Quarterly, The Antigonish Review, and the anthology Lake Effect 3 (edited by Carolyn Smart). She tweets from @meghanharrison, sometimes about sports.