When Life Widens Wider | by Sarah Venart

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In I suppose a pinprick of hope, I look out his windshield

wanting it to be true: northern lights or meteor showers

or something to be there above the valley so his hand

on my thigh has an explanation…

In I suppose a pinprick of hope, I look out his windshield

wanting it to be true: northern lights or meteor showers

or something to be there above the valley so his hand

on my thigh has an explanation, a need to point out

exhilaration instead of the trope of furniture-maker/rig driver

driving his babysitter home and stopping the car in the ditch.

At two in the morning there’s so much I think has answers—

the black map of pinpoints above can be joined to form

bears and containers of milk, archers with arrows pointing

to North, to Hercules. But this all dissolves where his hand rests

casually on my thigh, same hand that I think leaves porn magazines

for me between the couch cushions, leaves cereal and sour milk, leaves

the nails of his children dirty and grasping for their one shared

tooth brush. I squint into the distance above the hills

to clear the chatter inside myself. If I want someone

to be grateful for me, I don’t know it yet. If I want

a man’s hand on my jeans, I don’t know it yet. He decides

to point to a series of dots above us. And among the voices in my head

I hear him saying, See? This is a kind of map. And I don’t hate him

for showing me that because yes, I see it too, it’s a mess.


Sarah Venart

Sarah Venart used to write under her initials, S.E., but screw that. Sarah’s writing has been published in Numero Cinq, Concrete and RiverNew Quarterly, Malahat Review, FiddleheadThis Magazine, Prism International and on CBC Radio. She is the author of two books: Neither Apple Nor Pear/Weder Apfel Noch Birne and Woodshedding. A new collection, I am the Big Heart, is coming out soon-ish. Sarah lives in Montreal and teaches at John Abbott College.

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