Poetry Archive


Beaconsfield Avenue

Sina Queyras

If it's warm I sit at the window listening to drain-sparrows argue over bits of feather and straw. In the chair that you found on Laval and carried to Brunswick, now here, I close my eyes and every Avenue I've called home stretches before me, soft as my nine-year-old Birkenstocks, warm as the cup of tea I hold, and more to come, you say, this is just the beginning. In the hundred and twenty years since its arrival in Brooklyn, the sparrow has established itself in every North American city and town. Edith Piaf, Main Street, train station, Disney. Close your eyes wherever the car stops, the heel hits, the hat lands, the heart rests, the cat purrs, you're home. Even the cat, after fifteen years of hunting, seems to appreciate the afternoon for its own sake; she stretches her claws into the sun and listens.


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Italian Leather

This morning I tripped
over your square-toed boots,
and after cursing
held one like a seashell.

I could hear your footfalls,
on pavement, crunching
against the dry snows
of Montreal, slush of Toronto, clicking
on a storm drain in London,
thumping through La Guardia, Charles
de Gaulle, Pearson.

I could hear your laugh bubbling,
cappuccino foam on your bottom lip,
shoulders undulating, and in the background
the hiss of steam, honking of horns, Basta! Basta!

Your tongue in my ear.


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Sina Queyras recently edited Open Field: Thirty Contemporary Canadian Poets (Persea, New York). Sina is is the author of Slip (2001, ECW) and Teeth Marks (2004, Nightwood). Her third collection of poetry, Lemon Hound, has recently been released from Coach House Books. Greenboathouse published Sina's chapbook Life, Still & Otherwise in 2005. Sina teaches at Rutgers and lives with her partner in Brooklyn.


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