Keira Zikmanis

Wet light hints at the tin roofs
of Dawson City squats,
the barn-like red
wood exterior of the Downtown Hotel.
The sky says dawn
but my watch says 3. I am coming home
from the The Midnight Sun
where I spent the evening watching people move
push back their red leather seats to go smoke,
slide hands across varnished wood to meet other hands,
slam shot glasses into filmy booze puddles. I watched
a sweaty man with a square head and mean eyes
take Dee home at the end of the night.
Watched for empty glasses and secret sleepers,
sticky coins left on tables. Yes,
I have been the watcher.

Now, walking down the boardwalk on 4th, the
dirt road muddy after the rain, I feel the favour
returned - feel something eyeing my bare feet,
my razor-burnt legs, flats in hand. I spot a fox
between the cinderblocks undwer my trailer home,
his face like soot clouding into the air,
pupils slits suspended in yellow resin. He sees
me, seeing him, then turns
and starts his easygoing trot
limbs loose and jangly,
each paw landing in a gravel grind,
each hip popping up one after the other.
Ears flat and pointed back, white-tipped tail bouncing
behind him, I watch his slinky strut home.

Keira Zikmanis is a poet and fiction writer who is currently pursuing her BA in Writing at The University of Victoria. She is an Ottawa native, whose work is inspired by her extensive travels across Canada. "Wildlife" was the honourable mention for poetry in our 2014 contest.

“It's Canadian, feminist, and one of my favourite things ever.”

—bucketofrhymes, "29 Amazing Literary Magazines You Need To Be Reading", Buzzfeed Books

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  • Room 41.1, Family Secrets
    Edited by Rachel Thompson

    In this issue:

    Jennifer Amos, Fenn Archdekin-Leung, Jenn Ashton, Jamelie Bachaalani, Colleen Baran, Jenny Bartoy, Alexandra Chang, Kristina Corre, Maggie de Vries, Shirley Harshenin, Jia Hwang, Sharon Jinkerson-Brass, Elizabeth Johnston, Tamara Jong, Manal Kamran, Carrianne Leung, Lily Leung, Mary MacDonald, Alissa McArthur, Cosi Nayovitz, Margaret Nowaczyk, Deanna Partridge-David, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Rebekah Rempel