Leaning over a bridge in Bickford Park,
larks and ermine burgle the Serviceberry.
The chains we lug about keep me upright;
it’s not falling I fear but the wilderness below.
We slow down to swallow sound, rustling leaves
and swaying grass—shielding Spring ciphers.
Somewhere in the underbrush of seasons past
loom answers to questions left rotting, while
wandering regrets wrench the roots of the sumac.
Some thing utters your name from beyond the bush.
Perhaps it’s only puddles underfoot, gasping …
You say, “I wanted to be weirder than I was, you know.”
I think, “Congratulations.” But can’t deliver the word.
At first sight, you were curiosity. At first shudder, a drug.
I half-smile, clenching the links of imaginary chains,
choking on inertia—your honesty subverts me.
Zach Pearl is an American-born, Toronto-based writer, curator and educator with a critical focus on the future of art, science, and technology. He is also Co-Founder and Art Director of KAPSULA, a digital publication for experimental arts writing. These are his first published poems in sixteen years.