We shoulder everyone to the bar,
seagulls swish past floor to ceiling
windows, the air’s familiar and the lighting
just orange enough to flatter.
I can’t speak
to the bartender. He’s a deaf
and blind orang-utan
he thinks I’m asking for medical aid.
Besides, that’s when you put your
hand on my wrist. It is the balm
of a Portuguese night, the Algarve Sun
the apocalypse by flaming meteor.
I cannot keep my eyes off the nape
of your neck, imagining a miniature
surfer gliding down your brown back
where everything becomes warm and touchable.
You pronounce my name like it’s chocolate,
like it’s the name of your hometown,
like you have practiced.
When I stop rambling about the dialectics
of being a shitfaced mess, you buy me
another drink (is it water?) and a choice
presents itself: to leave forever or stay
till one of us dies, till one of us breaks a vow.
You know my answer because I’ve cried
it out in grocery stores, I’ve poured
it onto strangers’ heads
I’ve given it to pregnant women, I’ve painted
it on the walls of suburbia, I’ve drank
enough tonight anyways — You know
I will sit cross legged, both arms raised
like a wagon, ready to be hauled
filled with dirt or water or something
more sinister, down to the place where you dispose
of my contents. I am ready to be emptied,
embraced, embarrassed, lubricated
fabricated, dreamt, sent home,
sent to heaven, pulled, dragged, drowned.
You cannot read my mind but I can read yours
You’re in for a treat.
You’re in for a have-I-wedded-a-psycho treat.
The answer, with me, is always yes.
Montreal native CAMILLE BROWN stumbled upon the city of Vancouver, BC at the crisp age of 19. This is where she formed a band and released her first EP, After Earth. She has since been attending UBC’s Undergraduate Creative Writing program, writing songs, poems and occasional short screenplays. She now goes under the name Malade and is working on her first solo record.