Aidan Chafe

Suburban Lament

Mountains receive hair transplants:
tree follicles replaced with houses
rosaried in asphalt and giraffe-necked
lampposts. Sad clouds come down
for comfort. Tears become puddles
hiding cartoon-themed galoshes.
Children run fingers along wet railings,
bored of a traditional love for swings.
Leaves etch impressions on the
sidewalk. A dog whimpers his petition
against captivity to an authoritarian
fence. The church is fast asleep
counting sheep. The day still dark
when we awake. Our heads crest
a horizon of linen. My eyes open
to foreign forest fires on television,
yours blink like hummingbird’s wings
between sips of tea. Neighbours
suffocate our reputation behind
the blinds. In this severe climate
of fitness our bodies are just
a bad spell. We lie facing opposite
walls, wade into pools of data,
as rain wraps its knuckles on the roof,
and the homeless and raccoons
rummage for scraps undeterred.

Aidan Chafe is the author of the poetry collection Short Histories of Light which was longlisted for the 2019 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. He lives on unceded Musqueam territory (Burnaby, BC).