By the Lachine Canal I Sat Down And . . .

Summer, 2015 / No. 35

You send me a text that says, “You’re hard not to love,”

followed by one that says, “You’re hard to love.”

One of these things is as true as the other to you.

You keep breaking and breaking up, fixing and fixing up,

breaking this and me, you leave and return. We do.

Split hairs in our throats, wet Y-fronts, sweaty rims of caps.

Hands on bellies and on the absence of bellies and necks.

Hearts flitting and flying and leaving again.

I stand in front of my old apartment, cold, and wonder

how anyone could fall in love in Montreal twice;

text my ex, the only one who is a friend, to ask

if people still cry by the canal, or if everything I know of this town is passé.

Everyone here is having the same conversation about gender as they were a dozen years ago, the same conversations about black pants.

We don’t know how to ask for time, for directions,

A bright blue robin, improbable for the city,

before us, in starts and fits too.

Tara-Michelle Ziniuk is a freelance writer, editor, and media-maker. She is the author of Emergency Contact and Somewhere To Run From. Last updated summer, 2015.