The record’s needle is stuck
as in a dream the young couple dances
under a cloud of longing that births
mothers and fathers too soon.
The blackberries aren’t ripe,
haven’t quite reached the cliff’s edge
from which there is no return without thorns
scratching like vinyl. A voice sings of love
that leaps and leaps again into the dark
a lick of candlelight teases the shadows
Charlene Kwiatkowski is a Canadian writer whose debut poetry chapbook ‘Let Us Go Then’ was published in 2021 with the Alfred Gustav Press. Her work has appeared in Arc, Maisonneuve, PRISM International, and elsewhere. She works at an art gallery and occasionally blogs at textingthecity.wordpress.com. Recently, she moved from Vancouver to Coquitlam where she lives with her husband, daughter, and soon-to-come twin boys.