Anna Wärje

the kind of song

let’s begin with an alto
in a red gown that reaches the floor,
her low straight-tone flirting
with the lute

gingerly, let’s sit together
in the same sound wave

let’s go walking afterward on
Burrard St, collars turned up
against the fog that follows

let’s take our time getting home,
your home or mine,
or the corner where we will
kiss goodnight

I want time to tell you about my childhood,
about the first time I touched myself,
touched another person,
got drunk

it’s not very original but it’s the
kind of song we’ve been singing lately,
getting to know each other,
stumbling through the melody—
not operatic but it’s something,
this music we’ve found

I don’t mention that I’ve actually
fucked that alto,
backstage, or
that I cried afterward
because she’s married,
but only ask if you like Mozart,
because this is only the first act and
I’m nervous,
I’m dropping lines

later we’ll get into the real symphonic shit,
the layers of sound—
of arguments and moans
and boring dinner conversations
and silences that
get loud
and we’ll know it all by heart,
but not now

we’ll begin with an alto
and take it from there

Anna Wärje’s work has appeared in various literary magazines including Room, Event, CV2, Descant, and The Dalhousie Review, as well as in Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry (Mother Tongue Publishing Ltd.) and Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls (Sumach Press). Anna is the recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts Emerging Writer's Grant and has published one collection of poetry, On Lost Roads (Country Light Publishing). Anna lives on Salt Spring Island.