Jaime Forsythe

If I house a goldfish

then I am the innkeeper. I place the mini diver, treasure chest, plastic plant, decide who gets to stay, walk, walk, heavy with you, delicate and poised to fight, and so sober—all this clarity and edge. No drift, only trudge as the week count ticks five, ten, auspicious twelve. Purify the water, sure, but its hue is an illusion anyway, and the risk-benefit ratio, the sonograph, the psychic radio. Is the risk greater if I disown my worry for an hour, dissolve it in a club soda with lime? Maybe it’s the cocktail of polluted air and hormone, but there’s a flatness to each morning’s field patterned with silver canopies. Can’t tell if numb feels good and that’s the point and oh: your seismic hiccups. My memory won’t dip into what came before, just taps on the glass to say hi. I don’t know if you’re safer inside, where I’m drugging you, or outside, flopping, roving, inhaling ozone. Awake forever, I listen to a mom podcast where they muse, I mean, I wouldn’t, but to each their own! and want to die, switch to a true crime serial where the wife doesn’t come home one day. Science says, basically, we don’t know, and I find release in a chemical blue pool, you swimming inside me swimming inside a stone cavity, watched by goddess statues who carry small planets. Words flit from my reach, suctioned into filters before I can grab them. Getting anything down at all is a miracle.


Spaghetti for Supper

Magnolia walk, rigatoni pillars, million dollar plus club. A million flying ants, dollars flying from a stack. Letters clap through the slot and words scatter. We vigil at the pond, dismember our fortunes, watch for the red flash. Telephone pole with a rosebud mouth, I think you’re going to talk, I know you will, and talking is obviously haunted. Hearts peel from grain elevators, panting. Dandelions flame around the rooming house, where every day a long-haired woman asks: how old? In our garbage back lot we hang garbage from a tree, hoping for birds, and it’s time to boil water for spaghetti. Money is no more than petals yet here is our unperforated roof, deflecting the rain. I think I spot a notice tacked to the door but it’s just a square of light.





Jaime Forsythe is the author of two collections of poetry, I Heard Something (Anvil Press, 2018) and Sympathy Loophole (Mansfield Press, 2012). Her work has also appeared in Arc, Minola Review, This Magazine, The Rusty Toque, and alifax Transit as part of the Poetry in Motion project. She lives in Halifax/K'jipuktuk, NS.

Photo credit: Alvero Wiggins