A linocut image, in black, against a white background, of a young girl, with straight, chin-length hair, bangs, and freckles across her cheeks.

Rapids and Replica

It’s not the 1940s, but a whole slough of inheritance, littered with dead leaves and charged with memory, weighed in greyscale, nets cast and prey caught, hundreds upon hundreds upon thousands of voices, each curing the others in moonlight, quicksand, some arc of cello, languid and long, half stretching and half succumbing, just letting itself fall, minor but telling, bow against strings like limb across table, or what have you, but all these notes, challenges, loves, together in a great chorus of urban rapids rushing down the side of the road—Hastings, Moncton—that do me in.

It’s them—the rapids—and the dumb mass of replica: the 1940s cut open, archived, extracted, recycled, regurgitated, and whited (or whited out, as the case may be), but anyway, cut up into new shapes, edges remade, stories told and eaten up like straight-from-the-box cookies, so that your grin turns rough, your chewing a strange digestion of history, leading only to a thick peristalsis, nearly a chokehold, all these decades tossed down, from throat to gut, only to acclimatize to acid, making hydrochloric home, and to force up the past, tenderized, surfacing at the gullet in foreign language, twisting your tongue, over and over again, evidence of your knowledge, your learning to speak refrain.

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