Emily.

Halloween. 2011.
The kitchen was dim, held together
with claws swords bottles lipstick,
magnets
we were a crowd of creatures
masks moving slow as we sang along
to the living room speakers
the heat of our bodies stirring into our drinks
making a mirage of the night around us.

I stood, quiet, behind a Ken Lum creation
wrapped in fairy lights

she was a midnight sun

surrounded by friends, a circling mimicry
of her day-to-day
this glowing heart that others orbit around
this strong, dazzling star that pulls us in

the East Van Cross was crying
a sea of hush hush and comfort and tissue
the zombie bride beside me shared
‘she just feels it all’, nodding to the cross
and I found myself looking into a mirror

worry knows to spot
its colours
in other things
knows the smell of its tear-salt
in strangers’ eyes
I knew this sun gave its light
to endless corners
it knew the burning taste of over-giving
the crackling sound of spilling love
the sight of the emptying drain.

Years later
I am still pressed against that counter
camouflaged in the crowd
watching a pooling swirl of hearts surround
this glittering girl

we are all still here in this too-full kitchen
standing amazed at her rushing, at her reaching
her giving,
giving,
giving,
and the compass arrow that can’t stop spinning
as she finds yet another corner of this world
to give her light to.

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