Meghan Kemp-Gee

A curse for too many questions

You will not find our foot
prints. You will find yourself
drunk on forecasts, speak
of nothing but weather.

You will find yourself full
of seeking. You will find
yourself full of seeking
us out. You will not find

our footprints in the clouds,
the weather forecast, clots
or clods of earth. You will
find we do not share our

roots. Intoxicated,
root-drunk, print-drunk, carbon-
dioxide drunk, runner-
bean-like runner running

up the bamboo trellis,
gravity-soaked milky
way-drunk winding runners,
pink pinwheels, you’ll be cursed,

distracted by the blues,
copper-smelling sex, swim
bladders and two-chambered
hearts collapsing under

deep-sea pressure. You will
or will not find yourself
as you fall into place
against a cello’s groan,

the taste of strawberries,
replenishment, the price
of gas. You will not find
them. You will sink or swim.

A blessing for girls who want to go swimming

You will read the legends. You know the ones.
You will drink up whatever overwhelming

gravity the supercluster has to
offer. You will not drown. You won’t even cough.

You’ll be witches if you want to. I’d make
you some promises, but you never needed

me to send you anywhere. You’re twenty-
six meters deep, looking back at Jupiter’s

great red eye, your head turned canny-sideways
like a colossally-haunched herd animal

scanning the treeline. Fox-red, cow-hided,
they won’t know what to make of you. Twenty-six

meters down, you’re swimming for the treeline
and your enemies groan like cellos. You pull

your finger off the trigger and nothing
launches. You read the legends. They gasp and purr.

From the Author: These two poems are part of a longer sequence about astronomy, loss, and afterlives. As a pair, they’re both a different kind of self-effacing “shot in the dark.” The first is a pretty nasty, cynical curse about the impossibility of connection and understanding across vast distances. The second poem, the blessing, is about what I want to believe: that we can find wonder in nothingness and create justice & new life for our lost ones, even in the dark.

Meghan Kemp-Gee is the author of The Animal in the Room (Coach House Books 2024), three poetry chapbooks (What I Meant to AskThings to Buy in New Brunswick, and More) and the graphic novel One More Year. She currently lives in North Vancouver BC.