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Telegraph Bay

     Francesca Schulz-Bianco


Neon green is my grief, steeped, a feverish light that greens the moss, greens the kelp wound around driftwood at the foot of your house. Your house: a white floating cube above shoreline. The last time I saw you, you said don’t leave me alone here. You were green in that sunroom, sitting in your chair in one corner of your queendom – and you were alone. Stay longer you said and then you were as intangible as the froth skimmed off the green tide that would greet you every morning. Once, you were as green as the jade plant in your kitchen, fleshy & full of sap. You, the oracle I would go to for the difficult answers, the riddles, the give it time, the don’t spoil it, the are you happy? Framed in by ivy. You were real: green as the owl on the telephone line. Pearl of dew, now my grief cradles you. Brimming heavy on bent leaf, fig tree growing green with fruit by your front door. My grief is green. I don’t know where to put it, other than to become green with it.

Francesca Schulz-Bianco is a Canadian writer from Victoria, B.C., which is located on the traditional territory of the Lək̓ʷəŋən (Songhees and Esquimalt) Peoples. Her poems have been published in The Malahat Review and will be anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry 2024. She currently lives in Berlin.

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