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The Elephants

Three Poems

Stephen Collis

Love & Resistance

It is snowing
again I walk
to the cemetery
to stand beneath
my favourite tree

Wanting the quiet
of snow something
about sound waves
and the baffling
spaces within flakes

But some stupid
truck or tractor
is idling its
potential to bury
at the ready

Think of the
series on fascism
and resistance I’m
supposed to be
organizing—but my tree

And you my love
and how we seem
to be fucking the
days into being
morning after morning

On a Theme out of Philip Levine

Is it the televisions
she asked
no she said no
the internet plague
all skinless horses
long out of the barn
no she said no
it’s that I
have to answer all
my own questions so
I cannot stop
asking the news
no longer news the
ordinance of light
being spent time
itself backing up
behind the dam
being built in
our hearts the
farms there
leafless oaks I
say can I
ask you something
no she says no
the light still
might be fading the
skinless horses
trampling ill-fed
at borders and
the barn
a gaping hole in
what can and
cannot be said
just let’s hold
each other and
let me ask my

Anti-Fascist Love Poem No. 3

What in our single beds
do we know of poetry?

—John Berger

I flip the
covers back you
pull them up
to your chin

I say there’s
snow you say
there’s skin now
who can argue?

Suddenly the chasm
or more accurately
the labour of
ignoring it again

Snowscape of hip
lineaments of love
the uncovering and
recovering world again

Stephen Collis's most recent book is Once in Blockadia (Talon Books 2016). He is currently writing a memoir about poet Phyllis Webb.

This originally appeared on March 12, 2017