EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: LESLEY BELLEAU

 

Milkweed by Lesley Belleau

Somehow the feasting
attached itself to our bodies
gnawing against each others
hungry corners.

Your tongue
birchbark
sliding my
back against the earth
your shoulders
half hiding the moonsmile
and our breaths
are crawling like
broken weavings
in and out of each other.

Isn’t firelight created by our touches? Hasn’t the wind
.   been good
to us to drive our fleshed humming together — our waters
 blending into each
other, our drippings tonguing each other away
 from mourning?

Like a cattail exploding into milkweed
slitting morning away from dawn
we feed eternity with the currents from
our lateral curving
hollowing slicing history apart
through your body, mine
finding truth the waters
swallowing yearning like a
thirsty earth.

from Indianland by Lesley Belleau, shortlisted for the 2018 Pat Lowther Memorial Award.
ARP Books | 2017 | 80 Page | $18.95 | Purchase online

Lesley Belleau is an Anishnaabekwe writer from Ketegaunseebee Garden River First Nation (Ojibwe), near Bawating/Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Lesley lives in Peterborough where she is completing her PhD in Indigenous Studies at Trent. She also has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Windsor. She has sat on arts juries and won numerous writing grants and academic awards, including from the Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council. In interviews, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson lists Lesley as a talented emerging Indigenous writer.