Yes, ‘I’m Happy’

I went looking for someplace to hide 

the ocean. Selfish girl. 

Trying to shut my eyes in a wave.

Line all the walls with water. 


The ceiling keep screaming at me.

Dad too. Who knew

there was a continent called Zealandia 

hiding in the Pacific 

with a crust thicker than the ocean floor?


We live on top of plates

growing all our bodies and fir.

Blood oranges and hills. 

We live like a pack of roads

howling over the earth.


I let my mouth open for language.

Siwihtâkanâpoy. Ocean brine. 

Sometimes we pay for the things

we know. Soap in the mouth.    

I’ve been told to expect damage. 


Here’s an earthquake warning from the government:

Learn the Risks. There’s a 1 in 4 chance

you’ll be happy or shaken. 

Selina Boan currently lives on unceded Musqueam, Sḵwxwú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh land. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared in SAD mag, Poetry Is Dead and The New Quarterly, among others. She was shortlisted for the 2016 CBC poetry prize and works as the circulation editor at PRISM international. She is currently working on a collection of poems exploring her Cree and European heritage.