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Eddy Yanofsky
From:   Blues & True Concussions : Six New Toronto Poets. Anansi, 1996.

This is like the top deck
of a ship at night,
the buoyancy of reflections,
traffic navigating the universe
and far away
the Cartier Bridge
the Champlain Bridge,
lights connecting Montreal
, the island, and its south shore.
Roman candles,
a phospherous helplessness,
a hanging permanence that
can t be extinguished.

Wind blows through the pines
down Mount Royal,
hums like a generator in a glass chamber,
stirs snow and coattails,
suspends traffic where it converges
at Cedar and Pine
looking like white unblemished tracks
in a Laurentien pastoral.

I loop the belt of my terry cloth robe
around my palm like worry beads,
press against the radiator plate,
run my fingers across its vent
until I have a bees nest under control.

Where has appetite gone? Had I ever known
it? Is it hunger, or the disease?

The sensation from the tenth floor solarium
is pure height,
like the catwalk above the logo of the Canadiens
at the MontrÇal Forum.
Only I m watching hockey in the seminary skating rink below,
the rattle of sticks are really test tubes,
my bruised arms are not from
yesterday's game.
I can pretend that here the world exists
on three sides of this room,
the city spreading out from the Montréal General Hospital
like a formidable moat.

All I smell
is steamed halibut.
The only sea smell.
The sanctuary of the solarium
is no exception.
It s everything that is wrong
about healing, it's
the pit in my stomach
or the inflamation.
The inescapable end of the hallway.
The west side of the solarium looking
onto the belle epoch high rise
that owns the horizon, burns its lights
to simulate ships in port,
(impossible to see
for the grain elevators
and the limitations of
windows at night).
A glare from the EXIT sign
shadows the form of a terry cloth robe,
and a hospital I.D. bracelet
hovers like a halo
over Place Ville Marie.

Eddy Yanofsky's works copyright © to the author.

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