The child eats trout eyes.Like grapes, they popin her mouth. The skinstaste like smoke. Shelikes to be seen chewing,her lips white with oil.Being unbearable occursto her. It's like music,Eminem in Grandpa'ssauna. Brow scaled withsweat, she trips into firetwice before learningto walk forward whileraking stones from sand.Nothing has to happen,but she questions it.She brings beer to Uncleand drinks lake wateron the low. On the dock,barefoot, her motherspeaks to Sudbury loons.The child's languageis inadequate. She singsin English on an over-turned tub. Someonebrings her fishing. Theycall her by her sister'sname, which is a garden.She feeds dirt to theworms, fingernails blackbrown. Uncle tosses troutin the boat. Later he'llburn them on the BBQ,and someone'll pass thechild a paper plate. Whenshe chews, a minnowwill slip from her left ear.The slime will stain hertight tankini. She likelyneeds a new one anyhow.
Copyright © 2020 by Šari Dale
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Šari writes from Kelowna, British Columbia on unceded Syilx territory. She recently graduated with a bachelor’s in English and Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in The Fiddlehead and her poetry in Poetry is Dead, Room, CV2, Event, Grain, Arc, The Malahat Review, and elsewhere online. She posts her poetry on Instagram @sari.docx.
The Malahat Review, established in 1967, is among Canada’s leading literary journals. Published quarterly, it features contemporary Canadian and international works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction as well as reviews of recently published Canadian poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction.
The Malahat Review is dedicated to excellence in writing. Its aim is to discover the most promising of the new writers and publish their work alongside the best established writers, to present work accurately and attractively to readers, and to increase awareness of Canadian writing in general through perceptive critical comment.