I watch the girls eating ice cream,
drowsy as sunsets on this late-spring evening.
They conjure something, or are they conjured,
brought from a mirthful womb here
where they parse shrill narratives, silly riddles,
like pillows and stuffed toys on the sky's declining face.
Concatenated like bracelets or prepositions there is
always a boy's name, a place, and giggles
ferocious as paper birds fluttering in an ink
of gossip delicious as the ice cream they fall into.
They wink slyly at the purple moon, burst like
rabid streams punching through the day's wan signals.
A current to a world beyond cyber and broadband,
they bring a code of veins and breasts
knotted beneath tightly bound jeans and t-shirts,
smelling of soap and grass dark as coffee.
And even the professorial cars that light them up
seem to die in their sight.
We all wither like old cloth, expired aprons,
in the flow of their erotic blood.
They poise in a nimbus of neon pigments
as children sluice through them and for
a moment I think they'll join in this asphalt
maelstrom but the ice cream isn't done yet.
What wilderness, Roman or Canadian, antedates
that strawberry flesh, those licorice hearts?
I cannot imagine a time, a moment, a second
when these girls did not unravel in a
grinning pact of rebellion, carrying their bodies
like torches through bacchanal woods, priapic hostels.
Someone turns on some music. It rises like
a narcotic entering our aural bloodstream.
But the girls disdain this festival, they've
finished the ice cream. Seeking something
else they suspire from the parking lot,
flanks and thighs executing sighs and
shouts from youth in muscleshirts,
winking erections at the fading group.
They pass through the prosaic curtain of night,
plump and dangerous as dreams.
When I step from this tableau of hair and scent,
laughter lingers like a choir of leaves.
Gary Robinson is an Ottawa based poet, with almost a 100 poems in print, including the literary journals of Ottawa, New Brunswik, Carleton and Simon Fraser University.