Montreal – In Passing

I’m late. Out the door, through the gate, left,
left again. Past the Musée, the bronze
cow, the Henry Moore, the Burgher
of Calais still going forth to meet
his fate. Past erstwhile church,
the Erskine and American, now
gallery. Free! One hundred years
of history des Sulpiciens. I’ll go
next week. Maybe.
If I have time.

Flurries are forecast, but when
has the weatherman ever been right?
Lights change. The bus picks up
a lady in a silver baseball
cap and two schoolgirls with bright
pink knees. Above, a V of geese heading
south, too late. Squealing brakes, Tabernak,
Câlice, what the fuck
you doin’? In Holt Renfrew
a nifty pair of ankle
boots, red, high
heels, with buckles,

le dernier cri. An ambulance shoots
the red light, BMW tucked in
behind. Into the dépanneur for milk, eggs, spinach,
a scouring pad. Then the post office
(Christmas tree already?) – yes,
to go express. Past paper-
covered windows: COMING
SOON. The wind’s
picked up, the temperature’s dropped. Hurry!
Two For One While Stocks Last. Sale Ends

Friday. A red poppy passes
on a lapel. More poppies. More people
passing. One could imagine fields
of red. Fields
and fields of red.

A pause in Premier Moisson: three-fruits
torte or chocolate bombe? Crossing
Sherbrooke at Simpson I peek in through
the boards at the luxury condos, a phoenix
rising from the glorious inferno
of crucifix, pews, Tiffany windows,
hymn books, bibles, Sunday school

I never knew the Church of the
Redeemer, only blackened walls, boarded-up
windows, and – after the wrecker’s
ball – spray-painted scrawlings: Believe
in the Lord. W/out war
there will be no peace! Oh
but you fool of doom, pleasure
does not mean the absence
of pain. Sabrina is a fucking slut.

Thirteen floors of condos. Parking
will be a nightmare.

Susi Lovell