(The formatting of this poem is too complicated for WordPress, so we have posted it as an image instead. Here is the text, which can be read linearly or side by side. Each line of the two sections should be juxtaposed against the same line from the other section.)
I Sensed It Was Beginning
The tangerine I peeled before our first date
so I would smell like a citrus grove in Florida for you.
The bowl of pears arranged on the table like a 17th
century still life. I staged the kitchen for your first visit.
The first tentative caress, light as ladybug landings,
but I could feel it for hours after.
The tinge of iron when we first kissed like hungry jackals.
I busted my lip, and we tasted blood.
The incessant chatter, light as bedsheets, loud as
bird colonies. We never tired of hearing each other.
I Sensed It Was Ending
The burnt roast from yesterday hanging in the air,
another, in a long list of disappointments.
The oblong yellow bruises cascading down my arm
like over-ripe pears spilled across the counter.
The jagged fingernails embedded in flesh
leaving four delicate crescent moons.
The hate-fuelled glare searing me like a steak.
Your victory made sweeter by my defeat.
The smothering silence, oppressive as winter quilts.
The cold air preferable to the weight of it.
Lindsey Harrington is a Nova Scotian writer with Newfoundland roots. She’s currently preparing to query a short story collection about breakups, and a memoir about being childfree—find out more at http://instagram.com/lindseyharringtonwriter.