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Awake
by Kim Mannix

Cover Image by Michael Yull 

Awake
by Kim Mannix

Published September 3, 2021

If dawn is a rebirth, have I been dead all night? Soul-sucked with a cosmic vacuum hose, then spit back out by sunrise. Today reanimation came with confusion. I smelled lilacs. Heard chickadees. Thought it was the July we spent squatting in my Auntie Anne’s cottage. Sliced sunlight came through the blinds, striping you like a zebra. But it’s the long end of a cold spring. You were so still that I put my hand to your chest to be sure you were breathing. Nous vivons, ma chère, but it will happen that way. Someday. Maybe not in our bed. Maybe not in a hospital. Maybe not in a car accident. Maybe not in a plane crash. But someplace where everything is white: snow sky snow flies snow covers it all. To witness death is the surest way to feel alive. Some days I wake up so eager, I’m a girl in line for her first rollercoaster ride. It’s a new day! I believe in the colour yellow. Pan made his pipe from hollow cane rods. I can hear it now. Can you? Feel the shrill notes brushing my cheeks while I fly above the yard, circling like a vulture. When the birds feed together, backs hunched over a carcass, the group is called a wake.

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Kim Mannix

Kim Mannix is a poet, fiction writer and journalist living on Treaty 6 territory in Sherwood Park, Alberta. She has been published in several journals and anthologies in Canada and the U.S. and is a contributing editor of Watch Your Head, a climate crisis anthology. You can find her on Twitter @KimMannix, usually posting about kids, cats and music.