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This article was published 15/4/2016 (2273 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

National Poetry Month: Chimwemwe Undi reads separation anxiety



separation anxiety


that summer,

when everything went sticky,

& we wet the fronts of our faces with the green hose in your long garden,

& it felt like we did then,

so much mess and still thirsty


i should have gone home six times,

(i counted), but i sat on the floor by your tall lamp

watched young fingers fight each other,

& thought, "if this is what it feels like,

i'll try math."


that summer, when love began to feel like trying when it was supposed to be


our soured nothings and our game of chicken --

and neither of us howled,

just hurt


the air throbbing like a vein.


that summer

when everything went sticky

even the air grew hands to catch us

and all the ways we were not



pulled the hours into warm agonies.

painted the space between us

& we could not bring ourselves to touch

while we watched it change color


the way i would catch myself staring

& the knot between my shoulder blades &

our passing in the bedroom like strangers on a sidewalk

when you used to touch my back.

my love for you ached

in the wrong part of my body.


and i carried it between my teeth,

by the loose skin of a neck,

this runt i could not grow to care for,

sensing as i did its death



Chimwemwe Undi has been a part of Winnipeg’s poetry scene for the last few years, primarily through spoken word and slam poetry, but also as the coordinator of the Speaking Crow Open Mic and board member for CV2. She has poems forthcoming in The Rusty Toque.

The Winnipeg Free Press will be running poems by Manitoba poets every weekday in April to celebrate National Poetry Month. The NPM in the WFP Project was edited by Ariel Gordon.