Two Poems by Aidan Chafe

Jesus Lizard

Attempting to catch me
before I fall
into sleep, you query
“Did you know the basilisk
lizard can run on water
like Jesus?”
Flickering consciousness,
I sink the conversation
with silence before it sets
sail in this sea of bedsheets,
wondering whether
Jesus would have even
bothered if he knew God
was to divine a lizard in his
image  —suspension of science
to illustrate miracle. A cold-blooded,
bug-eyed sacrilege sprinting
slime-tailed over streams,
rivers and lakes, routinely defying
the odds with every
splashy step.



Two Lips

In the backyard archipelago of pots
you green-thumb through the day,
mouth wide like a mason jar marvelling
at the flowering delights, making stakes

out of retired badminton racquets,
a severed garden hose you arc in-and-out of soil
like a snake slithering around tiny tomato plants.

I stay indoors watering the pages. Cultivating words.
Summoned only for celebratory occasions:
cutting of first tomato, opening of first snow pea.

On rainy days, I lap up lamentations like a dog,
coddle you through casualties: slug eyeing unripe tomato,
mildew frothing away precious pea plant.

Twice a year I lend a hand relocating
ever-growing Christmas tree, domesticate it with you
for winter, dress it up like a traffic light
before parking it back beside its potted friends.

Only in yield, when a release of you triggers me,
do I tend to garden: a mouth I plant kisses in,
a seed from which I see in your eyes.



AIDAN CHAFE is the author of the chapbook Sharpest Tooth (Anstruther Press). His poetry has appeared in journals such as Contemporary Verse 2, Cordite Poetry Review, The Paragon Journal, Scrivener Creative Review, and Sulphur. He lives in Burnaby, BC.


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