Dispatches

Gravitass

Sara Cassidy

Inspired by the photograph Nude Sharkfin Swimmers (1973) in Geist 88, in an article about Glenn Lewis (a.k.a. Flakey Rose Hip).

I would love to have a man’s ass, which is

less bottom than top, a firm bulb on sprung stems,

like garlic, but only a couple of cloves.

Men have the best butts, I think, studying

),

as my soft bottom yields beneath me where I lie

in bed, anxious again, realizing that these days

I’m afraid of the moon. And once I was in love

with the moon, knew it personally, it was mine

and kept being mine, over and over, punctuating

the sky whether I was drunk or reading a poem

so brilliant I’d have to look up from the page

as out a window.

I suppose I discovered at some murky point

that everyone loved the moon, everyone

was embroiled in the same affair. Wisdom

is frequently humiliating. But I’ve learned to translate

humiliation into maturity, which assures me now

that everyone fears the moon! I reach

for my magazine again, adjust my glasses,

, assembled

on the unseen side of the world, probably worse

for my eyes than good, but does it matter?

I imagine going blind and the picture sucks:

no, I’d rather not go down that hole that will never

be dug. Once an employer said, as I squinted

. That was years ago and I remain

sticks in my throat,

no longer a glowing, ripening season but a chip

of something stony. Terminal, termite, termagant.

If my bottom weren’t so soft, maybe things

would be different. I would have upwardness, lift,

.

A sigh sounds through the house, small bellows

wheezing at a fire. It seeps from one of my children

asleep in his or her bed. Oh, wealth. My wide, ample stores

of love kindle for my offspring, who fill my days with

the unknown labours of the single mother, and all

the joys of motherhood. I remove my bad glasses,

extinguish the lamp, put my head to my softish pillow

and bravely glance at the moon, that constant bulb–

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Sara Cassidy

Sara Cassidy's writing has won the Atlantic Writing Competition for poetry, a National Magazine Award (Gold) for non-fiction, and a BC Book Prize for children's writing. Her 21 children's books have been nominated for many honours, including the City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award. She lives on lək̓ʷəŋən territory and works in communications for the BC Ministry of Health.

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