Spoon Theorist

Alone the way a man is
beside his sleeping wife,
the room nowhere in the black
like a child who hides
by closing his eyes,
I think if I’m to carry
a dead body around
let it be mine.

And let it be useful.
Let my head be the keystone
of a proud arch
my son will build in the garden.
Let the windchime be
my clattering femurs and tibias.
Run my hands as dusters
over bone china cups,
make my torso a cabinet
crammed with analgesics.

Anything to give me purpose,
o unmoving me, filling a mattress
the way fog fills a valley.
Call me a slumming cloud
that missed the bus
home to the sky.

Call my knuckles mountains
without veins of ore,
call my lungs boilers
for archaic engines.

If I could see my hands
in this darkness, I would stare
at the hammer and saw
concealed in my open palms.

If I had a pen
and more than your light
to read by,
I would write
that ghosts don’t exist,
just unfulfilled vows
trying to get our attention.

Richard-Yves Sitoski (he/him) is a songwriter, performance poet, and the 2019-2023 Poet Laureate of Owen Sound, Ontario, on the territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. His work has appeared in Arc, Prairie Fire, The Fiddlehead, and elsewhere. His most recent books are the Don Gutteridge Award-winning collection Wait, What? (2023, Wet Ink Books) and A Current Through the Flesh (2023, Mansfield Press). More: rsitoski.com + Twitter @r_sitoski