No Poem for Manitoulin Island

You envy nothing. Not the firm riot

of trees casting closer

as boat pulls to shore. Not

shore. Not road. October’s


chroma wash blank

against the shoulder, does anything

but make you touch

tongue to window-flare,


orange pure as burnt salt.

First time you walked

alone, heavy with four o’clock

darkness, the long slide off

the aperture, pupils soaking


blackly around. Reach in your pocket and throw

those crumbs out. Want no one. Want

no home. Cramped fist. Lump of ice

wedged in the throat. Wait for it

to melt, or choke.

Elisabeth de Mariaffi lives and writes in Toronto. Her poetry and short fiction have been widely published in Canadian journals, including The New Quarterly, Descant, This Magazine and of course CV2. In 2007, she was a recipient of the Lina Chartrand Award for Poetry. Elisabeth holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is one of the wild minds behind Toronto Poetry Vendors, a small press that sells poetry broadsides out of toonie vending machines.