glass separates selves — this her! this Other! an

off-kilter smile pasted on comes quickly undone


the corners peel on a clothed mouth. looks

hungry for something, some just-swallowed bitter.

even when the masses laugh around you

fumbling with the newfound movement in their tongues


unsure how many words to allow themselves, to

crunch between too oft-bared teeth, too often

kicked back into bowed head. sacrifice rejected.


holy starlight ceremony, extended pantomime

of a body sparkling in a room full of flames

making easy conversation. surviving, this time.

existing without squeezing answers between outstretched fingers.

Chimwemwe Undi is a poet, spoken word artist and arts organizer. She has been featured at the Winnipeg International Writers’ Festival and the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, and her work can be found in Prairie Fire and online at Lemon Hound. She lives, writes and is pursuing a Linguistics degree on Treaty One territory in Winnipeg, Manitoba.