By Jaime Lee Kirtz

“My nose holes choked with memory of smoke”*

surrounding wooden beams

as masts crash on bottomless floors


Phonetic chimeras curl round tall planks,

rigging where men move

like trapeze artists, seconds

after a wire has broken


In skies seagulls observe

transfigurations to swans

spoken ashes on winds

misty flights of vowels


Dragons treading

sentence lengths

debris floating on fiery swells


I was Ariel wishing to be freed

I was Lear howling to mystic beings

I was anything but a stock character

in a British drama


Transforming to lighter language

now paths

infinite vibrations

Bibles on ships

explain silence


Awaiting decisions on death

and after death

still hearing slop of water

against sideboards

icy shackles on ankles


Crawled toward Atlantis

no one spoke

swans were not seagulls but harpies

my hair was my own but filled with seawater

this was how I arrived in America

* Derek Walcott—The Schooner Flight


Jaime Lee Kirtz, a recent graduate of SFU’s The Writer’s Studio, has been published by Four and, Pandora’s Collective, and the Poetry Institute of Canada. She graduated with Physics and English Literature degrees at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto. Focusing on intersections between language, physics and literature, her work and theory circulates around polis and formation of culture within natural environments, and is featured in the anthologies “Emerge” and the “Enpipe Line Project.”

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