You are a woman who lusts after pink lilies,
the open mouths of inlets
blurred by mist.
Nothing is ever simple.
A man who says he loves his wife
but runs his hands over you.
You stamp and shiver,
steam like a horse in rain.
You are a woman who in the midst of moving
almost buys a pot of poppies,
fringed and pink as a velvet shawl.
You try not to let men too close;
those who fall through some loop
of politeness, lodge in affection
for years, hurt like splinters.
You prefer the cold blue beckonings
of salt-water channels to the warm mouth of a man
who belongs to another.
You are a woman who surrounds herself
with flowers and fresh-baked cookies
as if domesticity could fence out passion.
Long ago the tide spat you out, broken.
You re-formed as an anemone,
muscular and stinging,
though every cell cries out for the slow
tidal charity of salt.
Made new, you look for a singularity,
some place where rock meets water
and gets fertile: you could incite a riot
of poppies, a hunger of hot lilies.
You want a man who can touch you like a colour.
Islands fascinate, and gardens,
how they are made and pass to others;
the deep startle certain pinks create
when you encounter them, swaying.
Zoe Landale teaches creative writing at Kwantlen University College in Richmond, BC. She is the author of five books. Her most recent books are: The Rain Is Full of Ghosts, a novel, and Blue in This Country, poetry. Landale's poetry and prose appear in upwards of thirty anthologies.