Le tendon et l’os

We turned our faces toward the earth
and sank
into a damp slope of fears

Would there not be a husk
soft enough for our heads?
So, this miraculous expansion
will never be repeated.

Still, the winter,
the deadness of extremities,
the crust, the backing.

Still, these windows of ice to melt,
these planets unfit for life.

My child doesn’t draw
he traces dark outlines
which he doesn’t fill in
flowers, suns, houses
monochrome and flat
in a corner of his room.

I tell him, your drawings
would be so much nicer
with green, with blue, with yellow

If you’d just try
I could
hang them up

My child screams
he doesn’t like the queens on television
he drips without batting an eyelid
his hide rough and soaking

he collapses too late
his seismic little body
his hare-like little nerves


At times we are trapped
stuck with the cockroaches
and a lantern that’s going out

the shifting sands
stop our hands from digging
the stone stifles our cries
so we renounce fresh air
and music
the look and taste of water

Untitled design (11) Bronwyn Averett is a writer, editor, and translator living in Montreal. She holds a PhD in French and has written about books for publications such as the Montreal Review of Books, Electric Literature, and Rain Taxi.