Subaruminant

by Dominique Bernier-Cormier

Dominique Bernier-Cormier was born in Quebec and grew up in Moscow, Paris, and Beijing. His work won The Fiddlehead’s Prize for Best Poem Prize in 2017, and has been shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, Arc Magazine’s Poem of the Year Award, and a National Magazine Award. His first book, is a hybrid work of poetry, prose, and journalism about his experiences living in Moscow, and will be published by icehouse (Goose Lane) in fall 2018.

The bison in Montana judged us
like well-upholstered X-ray machines. We left
them behind. Over Michigan the sky

finally adjusted its glasses. Céline held visage
for three whole toll booth measures. Industrial
sci-fi rain and your wrist fixing

the rear-view mirror with my face in it.
Some other things we left behind: my beard
in a little gold sink in Chicago. Your nana

cracking a Coors Light by a green lake. Ohio.
Olivia and her broken clavicle. Her minimum-wage
job setting off avalanches at dawn

so tourists can ski safely down with mirrored
orange worlds strapped to their faces. An American
one-dollar bill I used as a band-aid.

Your mother. A plant of basil. The nervous
tic where I only blink the eye farthest from you.
Other things of course but now you are asleep.

Your face against a pillow shaped
like a nuclear mushroom. Your headlamp
still lit on your forehead. A book in your lap

about blackholes or blackberries. I can’t see.
Pittsburgh darkening ahead and invisible foxes.
Wake up. Wake up. I can’t believe your eyes.

 


Dominique Bernier-Cormier was born in Quebec and grew up in Moscow, Paris, and Beijing. His work won The Fiddlehead’s Prize for Best Poem Prize in 2017, and has been shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, Arc Magazine’s Poem of the Year Award, and a National Magazine Award. His first book, is a hybrid work of poetry, prose, and journalism about his experiences living in Moscow, and will be published by icehouse (Goose Lane) in fall 2018.

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