The 2016 Literary Supplement

Smith College, 1950

Poetry ❖ Written by : Alainah AamirOnline extra

Today the gold heart on the gold bracelet my mother bought me early in April
beats as hard as my own during my spells of palpitation.

The words of Baldwin and Kerouac are stretching
out onto long winding pavements
engulfed in marijuana perfume
and ruins of morality.

I stretch out all my poetic opportunity onto a road that diverges into another galaxy,
then I spit on it and I and go in a separate direction.

I am the calmest woman before I transform
and then I remember the winter I first travelled to Toronto,
the same winter a blizzard rocked the east coast so hard nobody left their homes for three whole days.

Except my parents
who liked the snow and went to a grocery store.

Everyone likes everything until the expiration date.

I am a beautiful freshly laundered sky
until you do not know who I am anymore
and you leave the room for a smoke
or a someone
or whatever it is
and I lay back and cry because I knew before the beginning how this would end
but I cannot be blamed if you only loved a couple thousand pixels
everyone loves a shade in my palette but
I am more colours than the one of
your bedsheets, your evening dress.

But one evening you will see a girl in the department store hovering over
stacks
and stacks
and stacks
of coconut oil and you will catch a glimpse of
turquoise nails
of cold, flaky lips and the taste
of chocolate milk shake with whip cream

and you will reach out to a stranger who is not me
but hovering in the alley of becoming

and almighty almighty almighty
all the heavens will rain
and pour and pour
still, nothing can stop you
because love is nausea but
you are a sailor, and the rocking waves your darling
and so you will smile
and you will reach out to shake her hand.