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OMEGA | Xan Shian
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Xan Shian

29 Jan Xan Shian

I’m on the couch
here                 and
I’m thinking about the couch in
the summer
you pressed against              me
for hours
the cat
leapt into your lap       probably
a warning
about couches.

I’m remembering that night
we tried to watch Harry Potter
hot-wired my parents’ tv
so we could watch the dvd                but
we ended up              not
seeing anything
because you               pressed
the       cat was a warning
we didn’t know how to stop

I’ve never been so intoxicated           before
or lost              after
you disappeared
without warning
the cat             was a warning
laid out, a solid line to divide before
and after.



The rhythm of the dryer slinging laundry
the Sunday
after Christmas

likewise           I’m restless
raw      on the inside from too many
chance encounters
drawn out for              too long

my roommate pads around
in socks
holding the cat over his head
like a trophy

“you want some belly?”

my coffee grows         colder
snow tumbles from the sky
all at once
it’s been saving up for this

when I ask you to walk outside with me
you say no                  for the fourteenth time
and I recommit myself
to pretending you don’t

I resolve to stop making excuses for people

specifically you           but there are others too
I find myself waking up next to
who say in the moments         between sleep
extricating ourselves from the sheets
“but right now isn’t a good time for me,”
and I want to ask
whether I have any say in this too

a truck on the street pulls its air brakes
and      I’m back on the couch
making a little dent
into the cushions
staring at the wood floor
listening to the creak of the heater
as it compensates      for the cold outside

The cat sits in the window
tucked behind the curtain
staring into a different world
the snow globe of a future                  untouched

I think back to the other night when I tried
to articulate
the difference between desire           and intention
how one begets the other
and we find ourselves naked in the morning
more                naked
than we care to admit

“I have walls too, you know”

this is me trying to explain the chasm I find between myself            and everybody else

I want to believe that it’s temporary
but as time passes                             it widens
and I wonder
whether it’s become a part of me now



Xan Shian has lived, written and photographed in Montreal, Great Britain, Europe, Mexico, and Victoria. Her work has been published in a variety of periodicals and most recently as part of the chapbook, Threshold (Leaf Press, 2015).

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