You Disappear in June

You disappear in June, leaving a dent
in my breath. Your rosewood fragrance lingers

while I stare at empty frames. To inhale
nothing is its own religion, a pale addiction

to blank walls, arms reaching aimlessly in bed.
My body becomes the widow of my brain.

Moods fall like rain. Yesterday you were
water; hailstorms on my face,

cyclones on the ocean. Today you are space.
Today I take my first step forward.

The step I should have taken years ago
to own my fate. For grit is my grace,

a fitting intoxicant, my oxygen forgotten
and not what you want in your days.

Years later you return, thin as a cry,
smelling of a tangled life. Your arms full of lilies

as if I were dead. I bed your secret mouth
wearing dimly scented blue. The only shade

I know of you. Afterwards, while you sleep
for days, I remove your shadow,

pin it to my wall like a salt-stained sepia
photograph. My love, we are beautiful

storm-torn weeds, even before you leave again.


Image by Bertsz from Pixabay

Lisa Alletson

The geographic, historic and cultural features of the three continents where Lisa Alletson was raised are reflected in her imagist and narrative poetic styles. Born in the Cape province during apartheid, Alletson’s writing often includes water and darkness imagery to explore the connection between mind, body, and nature. Her poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction have been published in the Globe and Mail, literary journals including Dreamers, Blank Spaces, Dodging the Rain, Flash Fiction Magazine, and several anthologies. Her poem ‘A Passing Oryx’ was published in ‘Poetry Pause’ via the League of Canadian Poets, of which she is an associate member. In 2020, Alletson was a mentee of Jim Johnstone, poet-in-residence, Arc Poetry Magazine.