Scars / Murmur


scars silence blood
shut up leaks and spills
stitch seams on skin
where none should be

scars silence blood
open up floods
of stories
word rivers, pouring out
from throat, bird voice
melody, telling and retelling
events that skin carries
in hues that pale away
until barely seen
which does not mean
invisible, does not mean
there is nothing to see
does not mean
repair occurred

Except That It Clearly Isn’t by Monica Lacey


In the dark of my heart
a murmur
flaccid valve
cannot quite close
instead invites
rebel rivulets of blood
to flow back into eddies
that draw quick funnels
where meaning sinks.

A valve; mouth
unfamiliar with silence
leaks secret mumblings
into absent ears.

The first one who heard the murmur said
Did you know?
You have a murmur
Said it not like
you have a nose, a voice
two legs, two clavicles

but like, you have extra toes
a tail or gills

I hear, you don’t speak loud enough
you murmur

You may grow out of it.

And own a silent heart?
Inside my noisy interior
lives another body dialect
that I add
to my personal nomenclature
of internal sensations
—aches, grumbles, pushes
caresses, flashes of colour
buzzing ears, crackling bursts—
that I capture
into defective word boxes
where meaning may sprout.

With my mind, I see
the murmur curl like smoke
black ink coils
spelling o and c and e
but never l or k or f
language of fluid forms
and sounds like whoosh
sibilant, round and patient
talking in vain if I don’t listen.

This little valve works hard.
How many times is perseverance
how many fall into perseveration?

Blame the valve, they say, it is weak.
We’d replace it if it was really bad.
You’re not really bad though

The valve is, then I am, not really bad.

Yet I, owner of the murmuring valve
—not on an automatic system—
have power to draw the uneasy line
between enough and one more time.

At every heart beat
a delinquent pool of blood lingers
a stray rivulet stumbles back inside
audible. I promise to myself
to listen more.

About Marie-Andrée Auclair

Marie-Andrée Auclair’s poems have appeared in a variety of print and online publications in Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom. Some of these magazines include filling Station, Contemporary Verse 2Structo UKApeironCanthius and more. Her chapbook, Contrails, was released by In/Words Magazine and Press.

About Monica Lacey

Monica Lacey is a multidisciplinary artist whose current work in photography, video, collage and mixed media explores ideas of house and home, altered memory and nostalgia, intimacy and privacy, and interactions with the natural world. Monica spent many years travelling, working in the film industry and developing her skills as a writer, dancer and yoga teacher before returning to studies in Textiles and Photography at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. Since her graduation in 2011, Monica has received several grants and awards for excellence in her work including the Nel Oudemans Award and the City of Charlottetown Emerging Artist Award. Monica has completed residencies in Canada and the US and her artwork is in public and private collections across North America. She currently serves as Program Coordinator for this town is small inc., PEI’s artist-run centre. She lives in Charlottetown, PEI, with her husband, daughter, and cat.

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