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Published December 18, 2018

Boarding Luggage

by Carter Vance

I number the points of electric
candle glow on wooden back walls,
the endangered rising of old-style
English police sirens and the
gargle-rabble sort of shouting,
indistinct low-end hum you
take wool shears to,
and be the lamb’s crossing.
In chance defeated, word by perilous
word as boxer’s blow, red-gloved
but never quite the knockout, just
dancing with time unspooled to
I count spackle-gray
paint chip clouds on letterless
Sunday alongside pounding
headboard strikes of walked-o
dirty soles, of coming upon
less-travelled roadway map
and tangling them to nowhere’s
To say you’d love me like
Americans on vacation
wouldn’t be the half-knot
of Boy Scout code spark,
cracking it for sunways,
but all deserved.

Smoothing Stones

by Carter Vance

A ripple is an echo by other names,
in other tongues, other epochs;
it is a chosen stone, careful dropped
as quill ink on fresh-printed parchment,
but lesser permanent, lesser meant,
blind but to its writer, by terms.
Listen closely, it can be heard:
the hesitance in verbage of tea-time blandness,
though content with flattened verse, it stirs
of deeper longing in private hours,
it cries between pine needles' space
to come back to spaces where
you and I ripple upon each other.
Or is it echo?

Wigilia Dinners

by Carter Vance

A muddy patch on Greyhound windows,
scraping clean in claret bath lacquer
mulling heat rash ruddy amongst
the stomach pain swirls inky acidic
markers as testament to what gets
left as unburned kindle, as untested steel,
as chalkboard theory, as textbook framework.
Embrace of asphalt arms, the model
sparkling monuments to welfare states past
which guide as gilded wire to weary dawns
forward in militia march of white faced
hours, leaking pavement shades in buckets
for trenchant timing up is the strongest
suit of cardstock to have handed.

Plastic cups, plates of precious silver,
like a mismatch of Wigilia and milk bar,
wash against each as sandshore rocks
the barring remove of aparting ocean;
as still as life mural painting, stand
up personable, but it’s not the
sort of supper you have until you’re
older, able to make sense.

Carter Vance is a student and aspiring poet originally from Cobourg,
Ontario, currently studying at Carleton University in Ottawa. His work
has appeared in such publications as A Swift Exit, (parenthetical) and the
Scarlet Leaf Review. He received an Honourable Mention from
Contemporary Verse 2's Young Buck Poetry Awards in 2014. His work
also appears on his personal blog Comment is Welcome -

Poetry by Carter Vance
(Cobourg, Ontario, Canada)

Boarding Luggage
Smoothing Stones
Wigilia Dinners
Poetry by Carter Vance - Ottawa Poetry Magazine
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