So I read this poem about a rare spice
with an unpronounceable name,
and before I know it, I’m catapulted into sex
and some car crash of emotions,
and I think: Why can’t I
write a poem like that?
Why can’t I come up breathless
like I do from under the surf for too long?
Why can’t I have a moment in my own writing that
catches me like a satisfying yawn or an orgasm,
that makes me different
at the end than I was at the start?
I want to write the kind of poem
like first love, like being
at a dear one’s deathbed, like trying
a kumquat or dolphin,
like salt water surf pounding down—
unable to breathe
but you’re exhilarated, like a sudden
double rainbow, wet kiss, slot win—
Or that moment when your kid
has more wisdom than you, says something
that makes you beam with pride, like YOU’RE the kid
coming home with an A report card,
blue ribbon, or jazz tap ovation!
Where is that mustard-seed faith?
Where’s the leaven, the gun powder?
Kate Marshall Flaherty will launch her sixth poetry book, Radiant, with Inanna Press, May 2019. She’s been published in numerous journals, such as The Malahat Review, Vallum, Grain, Arc, CV2, Descant, Windsor Review and Saranac Review. She guides StillPoint Writing Workshops and performs poetry to music. See her award-winning performance poetry set to music at http://katemarshallflaherty.ca/