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501 Poem: Conditional



Damian Rogers Special to the Star

This is the letter where I explain
how you are a unit of composition.

In a dream, we are riding the Queen
car. It feels like Friday night, passengers
sealed in the foggy promise of potential parties.

You watch a woman wearing red legs
who holds a record crate and a bag with a message.
It reads: I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry Good-bye

For your farewell you filled eight notebooks
with the names of interesting animals.

Humming an old song:
you need me; you're gone.

If you forgive me for changing seats.

If you forgive me for swearing at the driver.

If you forgive me for carrying my brain
in my head like a glass of black water.

A Siberian Husky slips away from his owner
to sit with me as the drunk man calls out
commands from the front. I can't believe

my luck.

But the wolf doesn't love us. He leaves.

In our sleep, I hear you repeat:

I don't want to get off

at the same stop

Damian Rogers is the author of the book Paper Radio. She works in Toronto as the creative director of Poetry In Voice, a recitation contest for high school students.

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Author Damian Rogers is seen riding the Queen streetcar westbound from Spadina.

RICHARD LAUTENS/TORONTO STAR

 

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