Tatiana in Gaspra, 1902 by Annick MacAskill

Father’s flesh has faded from his bones—
his second-to-last rites your last blessings
in the duchess’s Crimean cottage,
where sunlight bleaches out his lips, the romance
of his hands curved
about a desk, a notebook; under the stink of camphor,
the milky gaze and the refusal that have endured
his years and yours—canvases and suitors
the bewilderment of his ongoing.

There is no meeting without body:

his spine a greased chain
under onion skin, a wool coat,
pupils blazing towards the adoration
eight years down the road. Gratitude
is now imperative: remind yourself
that daughters don’t do anything for glory,
and pray.

 

Copyright © Annick MacAskill. Originally published in No Meeting Without Body (Gaspereau Press, 2018).

 

Annick MacAskill‘s poems have appeared in journals across Canada and abroad, with recent publications in Prism International, This Magazine, The Stinging Fly, Event, Arc, and Contemporary Verse 2. Her debut collection, No Meeting Without Body (Gaspereau Press, 2018), was longlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and shortlisted for the J. M. Abraham Poetry Award (Atlantic Book Awards). Her second collection will be published by Gaspereau Press in the spring of 2020. She lives and writes in Halifax. Find Annick on Instagram & Twitter.

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