by Conyer Clayton
Published April 9, 2021
I bought a baby pig while you were in the ocean. Will it stay
small forever, or is this a temporary convenience? I can barely
keep my hands on it, I can barely see you both as you wade
toward abyss. Do I abandon this pig or abandon my family? I
have responsibilities and fur to maintain, but there is a hoard
of fish out there, and they are eating other fish, they are eating
their own kind, they are eating brethren bigger than
themselves. A line of ships blots out the horizon. I know,
intellectually, they must be moving, but they may as well be
stranded, abandoned, ghostly, dusty, for all their movement
serves me. I can tell you wish I was in the water too, sisters. I
would warn you of the shifting sandbar, I just have to find
someone to watch my pig first. I take my hand off for an instant
as I squint against the sun to find you, and then the pig is gone,
and my sisters are gone, they're somewhere beyond the break,
they're there, they're there, they must be! But the sun, and the
ships, and the fish, and the waves.
Conyer Clayton is an Ottawa-based writer, musician, editor, and gymnastics coach. Her debut collection of poetry is We Shed Our Skin Like Dynamite (2020, Guernica Editions). She has released 2 albums and 7 chapbooks, most recently, Sprawl | the time it took us to forget (Collusion Books, 2020), written with Manahil Bandukwala. She won The Capilano Review's 2019 Robin Blaser Poetry Prize, ARC Poetry Magazine’s 2017 Diana Brebner Prize, and is a member of VII, whose debut chapbook is forthcoming with Collusion Books in Spring 2021. "The Break" is from her forthcoming second book of surrealist prose poetry.
Twitter and IG: @conyerclayton.