Part 4: Lost girl

leaving again,
heart happy, leaping
five thousand kilometers
(three thousand one hundred and six miles)
give or take,
i’ll take it,
watch me fly, not looking back
i am so good at not looking back
there is nothing behind me
but a school of racists,
a cute boy named rob, smiling
holding his fist in the air,
not waving goodbye,
just letting me know
he has a piece of my soul,
stolen in a field one night
handsome rapist,
i won’t miss you,
good fucking riddance
you can rot in that vault
somewhere deep in my brain
where a three-year-old
still screams at baby dolls
who just won’t behave

but wait, this is a happy story
let me start over
leaping, happy-hearted,
into another country (almost)
bag of skills packed,
slung over the shoulder hobo-like
to be unpacked in this new life
applied like make-up
a glamour
reflected in shop windows
it looks like me
but more human and confident
she is my best creation yet
in the conceit of youth
i think her my magnum opus,
the eighteen year gestation
an eternity

year eighteen
a good vintage
for exploration and wonder
peering into dusty corners
drinking beer, cross-legged
sartre and descartes
knocking about with
micro macro markets math
until one day,
dressed in ripped jeans,
backpack ragged, well used
to being kicked under pub stools
i stop, half-way from here to there
and breathe
and something shakes in the core of me
and it hurts like birth
body-rending agony
mind shattering joy

the time has come
for the glamour to fail
and i will rage
snap heads with sharpened canines
make myself a sword tongue
and slice, precisely,

herr professor, sir
you say girls can’t do math
watch me skip every class and still pass
don’t look so surprised
i went to the school of conquerors
and learned a thing or two
i see your “sweetie”
and raise you
an eyebrow
watch me rise, little man
despite you
to spite you
in spite of

sweet boy who smiles
and says i have nice eyes
thank you sweet boy, but goodbye

this whole place is a lie
built on ancient bones
it isn’t my story
and it isn’t my home
so now i am lost
and set myself spinning
arms outstretched,
but without the sound of music
crackling in the background.

1Sagefemme All rights reserved 2016

nocturnal emissions

up at 4 am
bathed in salt
not necessarily the healing kind
sweat and gooseflesh
i am being preserved
in preparation for what?
fine, then
i’d like to be a pelagic
i am not a bottom feeder
(well, okay, sometimes i am)
or if i am to be pickled
in my own brine
a festive little
i am fragrant now
in the process of this transformation
body melting,
bubbling and expanding,
i am taking up more space
in my head
in my bed
the puppy won’t sleep with me anymore
lest i scald her
and i whisper, lovingly
to my sweet sweet girl
i love you so
but get your
hot hand
i am transforming
and i’m not sure what form
you will find
in the morning

1Sagefemme All Rights Reserved 2016


Good morning Sunday!
Want to hang out in bed with me today?
We could read that stack of books
lying tantalizingly on the bedside table,
pages spread uninhibited, expectant…
Did you conspire with the puppy
to lick my face awake, excited like you haven’t seen me in a week?
Ah, the guilt.
My mom friends are already texting,
up and running after their small people,
no question of canoodling with you,
but here is the silver lining of divorce,
every other week we have this tryst,
and I have come to love you
like when we were little and used to
hide in the basement and play
peekaboo with Dad…
And then,
remember university?
You would wrap me in a warm blanket
and whisper
“no more peach schnapps, kiddo.”
And when my firstborn came along,
that bright and pungent baby who never slept but sure could scream,
you tried to sneak away,
don’t pretend you didn’t.
You were an asshole like the rest of days then,
you acted like Monday,
but now I see it wasn’t really your fault.
Babies just don’t have any respect
for order, time, sleep,
and don’t feel bad,
I didn’t really notice you leave…
I was so in love, so enamoured
with that little wailing life,
that the whole world caved in;
I was so in love with that baby,
that another seemed a great idea…
A second one,
bright and pungent,
less wailing with this one,
but maybe that was me
I was an experienced mother then.
I was rosy and ignorant
of time outside the cave,
self-important like
I was the only one who ever gave birth,
And of course,
you know I work outside the cave
so how could we have met back then?
But today,
I see that you didn’t run off after all;
you have been waiting patiently
in the wings
all this time.  
All rights reserved 2016


We are given
Jackets at birth
Swaddled tightly,
Into our proper places.
Burritos of expectation,
Many failing early,
Arms and legs clambering
To be free
From those coloured

The label
Becomes dictator
And corrupt.

First gender
Then name
To denote, identify, relegate…
Popsicle sticks in the dirt
To let us know what we’re growing
And when a thistle erupts
Under the label “Rose,”
Well, that’s a weed.
In this Rose garden,
Yet there it is.

Dear thistle,
Wind yourself around this sharpie
Give yourself a new name
And the rising wilderness will feed you.
Your roots will grow legs
And run, run
Into the welcoming woods
There to join the named and nameless panoply.
Rosish thistles, thistlish roses,
Anthropomorphism aside,

We are the rainforest
Magic and medicine,
Root, rhizome
Pistil, stamen,

We take our labels
Our straight-jackets,
And snip snip the seams
Or loudly rending
To produce these
To fit our queer bodies
On the way to

We meet in Salons
To chant and spin
And show off our creations,

Do you like my dress?
It’s made of popsicle sticks.
I wear it ‘cause it makes me strong
I wear it ‘cause it turns me on
I’ll be a thistlish, thorny rose
And you be your own original prose
We can be he or she or they
Or boi or girl or free-flying fey.

Let our weed-children grow unfettered
Straight-jackets abandoned
Wending joyfully
Through the gardens of life.

1sagefemme © All rights reserved 2016


This is me, at 46;
Youth still visible in the rear-view mirror,
The wisdom of time seeping warmly
Into the crevices of my face.
See my eyes?
They have seen a thousand tiny miracles,
Witnessed sorrow beyond comprehension,
Filled with rivers of laughter and grief.
I have struggled with this face,
Loved with it,
Screamed into the cold wind and cursed every god with it.
But today I am grateful,
To be stuck in traffic,
In the snow,
Feeling the tug of the earth
Gentle as a lover’s touch;
The whistling wind calling me home.

1sagefemme © All rights reserved 2015