Constraint on An Uneasy Sea ~ obsessions

Listen to Julie Mahfood read her poem at This Really Happened on December 6th, 2011 at Café Sarajevo.

Inspired by Frances Driscoll’s “Forecasting”

Weave weather under skin, create
patterns brilliant blues—hues
to cool heatwinds.

Make neat lines garden.
Accept this thread
attached to strings unstrung,

have rejected need
though its storm courses. Long
to trace curves with tongue,

hold ungloved.
Take off coat; stay awhile—become
landscape in distance

never quite reached, boundaries
between: too. Have stars in eyes,
hot vials    fire threatening to burn

to ground. Worn sky pounds
to powder, flour fine
will be sifted through cracks, floor.

When walk on,                   feet
will enter rooms noiselessly;
patients will hear coming.

Have sewn up so, yet refuse
to unravel. Ravish with, if not hands
caress in dark         under water

or amidst a noisy people
being ferried in            and of
waiting rooms. Will wait in will sit in

uncomfortable seat
while          are called ahead. Smell
will be with antiseptics, touch shared

with latex, with crosses
marking off days on         between
appointments. Will taste

in medicines, hear
when there is nothing left
hope               sound itself.

Move on bed, seek out
between sheets—no one here. Refuse
to breathe, to see past scars.  Skin,

not skin. Eyelids fastened shut, with pins.
Wear sky until it calls,            sea
it can drown, earth if it move.

A maze
cannot navigate. To slough off:
like skin cells, turn from a fine

powder, into into earth into sand
into skin oil and light. Burn.
Am neither nor tongues,

but everything which comes of mouth
is fire. Cannot sit; cannot speak.
Created and erased, am longer

a woman and weather, unleashed.
Map       uncharted. Sky.
Night.                           An uneasy

Julie Mahfood is doing graduate studies at Concordia in English & Creative Writing. In 2009, Julie won the carte blanche Quebec Prize and got honourable mention in Room’s poetry contest. Publications in: Literary Review of Canada, The Antigonish Review, Room, carte blanche, montreal serai, The Caribbean Writer, CV2 and Descant.