colophon:by a fountain in a public square, in the heart of a city garden, in the downtown core was my heart first published on a bench under partial shade of a tree with hazenut shaped leaves and dark bark. where sleek men in suits lay on the grass twenty feet from a half naked cyclist rubbing his belly as he sunned himself on another bench, bicycle resting behind his shoulders. i remember eating lunch here with you with one summer and how you admonished me for feeding the birds. dear god, i thought, am i friends with a man who does not feed birds? young boys lay face down on the fountain rim, laughing and dangling their arms into water. a young man passed and handed me a flyer of the country's 150th birthday as a pigeon in the branch overhead considered whether i was fit to steal from or be shat upon. a cloud of pot smoke settled lazy on my shoulders from the nearby drowsy grass-throned caterpillar considering the afternoon in his cut off jeans, forrested legs crossed before him. i felt the concern of these ants on my calves, wrong way, wrong way, this is womanly skin on womanly leg, out of place today, when will this expanse end?
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natalie hanna is a queer lawyer of middle eastern heritage whose writing focusses on feminist, political, and personal themes. she runs battleaxe (small) press, is the administrative director of the Sawdust Reading Series, and serves as board-member and newsletter editor for Arc Poetry Magazine.
This is her second chapbook with above/ground press, after “this evidence against you,” produced as STANZAS #21 (October 1999).
To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com