Canadian Woman Poet



There’s another skin inside my skin

that gathers to your touch, a lake to the light;

that looses its memory, its lost language

into your tongue,

erasing me into newness.


Just when the body thinks it knows

the ways of knowing itself,

this second skin continues to answer.


In the street – café chairs abandoned

on terraces, market stalls emptied

of their solid light,

though pavement still breathes

summer grapes and peaches.

Like the light of anything that grows,

from this newly turned earth,

every tip of me gathers under your touch,

wind wrapping my dress around our legs,

your shirt twisting to flowers in my fists.


Tonight a Buick’s our bedroom,

cold wind off the lake muffled by closed windows.

Thirty years ago we drove through dark mountains

on a narrow road, as if under blankets with a flashlight.

Three days and two nights to the sea,

past grain elevators leaning against the horizon

like the heads on Easter Island;

under the stars like ibises

swooping through mangroves.

Thirty years from our wedding and still

we’re sleeping in cars.  Still

awake as the moon; foreheads burning.


Anne Michaels, The Weight of Oranges/Miner’s Pond


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