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Sonnet on Stopping (from Designated Mourner, ECW, Spring 2014)

I remember being on the other side with you
driving from Edmonton to Vancouver
seeing the train go through the mountain pass
between Kamloops & Jasper
stopping by the emerald pool
for you to smoke, me stretch, our dog crouching to piss
on the edge of the pebbled embankment, whip whip whip
the iron animal undulate and a dream, its whistle’s
uninterpretable ache. Now I am on that train,
there are cars across the creek, people waving,
unfastened by nostalgia and I imagine one is you,
nodding at me from beyond this impasse, I am
moving fast, you are standing still, you will never leave
this place, young & having a smoke, that simple, damaged pleasure,
boulders raw in the water, here & there, an unmoored flank of ice.