“Couldn’t Fall in Edinburgh” by Daniel Bliss

Poetry Pause is the League of Canadian Poets’ daily poetry dispatch. Read “Couldn’t Fall in Edinburgh” by Daniel Bliss, part of the League’s Fresh Voices program.

Couldn’t Fall in Edinburgh

By Daniel Bliss

Stayed four extra weeks on Union Place

high above Leith Walk

to mute nightly crowds and

stare at the North Sea over red roofs

on rare sunny summer afternoons.

Struggling to hold myself in the now

I shuffled through the city

scoffing at crowds as if I were local

while hiding in cafes writing poems

in the shadow of Edinburgh castle.

How quickly did it take to drink

five pints of chilled Guinness with her

if memory serves a few swigs

days before we found ourselves

dancing at the bottom of Arthur’s Seat.

Feet kicked to the blare

of bagpipes slicing August air

emptied cans of Old Speckled Hen

crushed around edges of the floor

aluminum lingering on lips.

Until soles pointed toward the ceiling,

stairs became too cumbersome

to climb and bring night to an end,

how long did we lay on worn carpet

eyes shut to amber walls closing in.

She said everything to make the future continuous

but there were returns planned for tomorrows

I guarded myself accordingly

but for the moment

I was there.

Copyright © Daniel Bliss

Daniel is a world-traveling poet originally from Anchorage, Alaska. Currently, he is based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan as part of the writing MFA program at the University of Saskatchewan. His poems often focus on relationship to the long list of places he’s lived. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in Beyond Words, Blood and Bourbon, Cerasus Magazine, Down in the Dirt, and many others.

Fresh Voices is a publication and workshop program created by and for the League’s associate members.

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