Two Poems: “Windowboxes” & “Affirmations” – Leah Horlick


Digging the pine needles out of the window box, you throw that whole summer onto East 1st and be done with it. There. You need other beds to fall back on when the light stretches you warm and tall again. It can all be replaced: cat, flowers, her, you imagine, and sink the roots of lavender, fuchsias, dig that summer out of the pine needles, stretching warm and tall. Again and again you sink back onto the bed of fuchsia; the whole window, there. The cat stretches out into the light, digs among the flowers. The needles on East 1st. You’re done with it, but again and again she throws you back onto the bed. All summer, the lavender window, you imagine new ground.


for esther

I love my house, I love my house, you say
          on the balcony built from tenure

and marriage, wisting out over rhodos, plum
          blossoms, and further–the tankers, nests

of searchlight and inevitable site
          of spill. Mountains on clear days. Already

I can feel you carving this house
          into room for a baby, as many

lovers as season and space will
          allow, kale in every spare corner.

This parking lot could feed a whole
          household. And you go back

in the rain to your stray cat. Your towering
          red house, that overhang of scorched

tree from the explosion. The actual projects,
          your yellow room.

Leah Horlick is a writer and poet from Treaty Six Cree territory in Saskatoon. A 2012 Lambda Literary Fellow in Poetry, her writing has appeared in So To Speak, GRAIN, Poetry is Dead, Plenitude, Lemon Hound, and on Autostraddle. Her first collection of poetry, Riot Lung (Thistledown Press, 2012), was shortlisted for a 2013 ReLit Award and a Saskatchewan Book Award. She currently lives on Unceded Coast Salish Territories in Vancouver, where she co-curates REVERB, the city’s only queer and anti-oppressive reading series. Her most recent book of poetry, For Your Own Good, was released by Caitlin Press in March 2015.