and then she emerges
on the corner of peel & maisonneuve, her
city legs tired and out of kilter.
she has been lost in the forest:
picking blackberries against trees that
have lived here long enough to have watched
the continents splinter.
she was new to the forest - before that, the sea:
singing into the wind,
her voice caught and pulled into the
cacophony of elephant seals
and the murmurs of a deep wide strait.
they tried to tame the waves, once.
from the lighthouse
she watched the currents crash against the island
with the world swept up in their crests.
she is swept onto the corner of peel & maisonneuve, her
city hands cracked and calloused by the forest
where she fell in love over and over again,
first with the sitkas, then with the lichen,
then with the boy who knew all the hidden paths:
the forest, where she sat in the trees
with mosses and saltwater in her hair.
and now she emerges
on the corner of peel & maisonneuve and
it’s like this that she contorts,
shoots up tendrils along the skyscrapers and
suddenly there’s green, green growing down to ste-catherine
green growing across the eaton centre and she keeps growing,
and suddenly her city legs are branches
wound around the sidewalk blocks,
getting in the cyclists’ way,
and her city hands are leaves trying to find the sky.
in six minutes
the next metro will stop. another woman
will climb out of the station,
her city legs rusty
for she has been in the forest too long.
Published online January 09 2020.
Tazi Rodrigues currently lives in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. Her work, which is rooted in transit, has previously appeared in Room and Vallum Magazine, amongst others.