If You’re Anything Like Me

you’ve taken stab after stab at relishing
larkspur, rhododendron, the way lichen marbles

a bald rockface, or while we’re on the topic of great wonders,
you’ve coveted a Japanese-style corndog

stirred with chopsticks in a deep fryer’s crackling pool,
turned over and over until the golden-brown battered wiener

takes on the appearance of something smooth,
almost to the point of otherworldliness,

despite its humble and earthly origins, and maybe
you’ve done your fair share of entrusting

your choicest truffles to the dubious masterminds
of your cranium’s designation, or you’ve fucked

more than a few lotharios-turned-disc jockeys,
all of whom could easily have been transported into your bed

from an alternate universe in which all dinner parties
are collision courses, and ticket stubs

to destination weddings overpower the humdrum microbes
spawned by phalanxes of traffic cops, but regardless,

you stripped right down to your nervous system
and performed acts deemed illegal in three of the lesser-known

“-stan” republics, like a grapevine
redolent with the effort of its own ripening.


Lisa Richter is the author of two books of poetry, Closer to Where We Began (Tightrope Books, 2017) and Nautilus and Bone (Frontenac House, 2020), whose honours include the Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry, the National Jewish Book Award for Poetry (US), and Robert Kroestch Award for Poetry. She lives, writes, and teaches in Toronto.


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