TWO POEMS by Emma Bider


When he returns to the party
the dim, silken air sounds new.

Whispers in the ear
imperceptibly altered,

vividly assembling
an original offering.

This loss of familiarity
chained him a moment.

Time out of step,
he tunes his thoughts

to the swollen tide of people,
thirsts for a distinct foundation,

a tether the habitual alone
can bestow,

he shivers with an alien pleasure.


The static coming from the walls
a sheet of sound,

and those subtle changes in it,
like the background noise of public fountains

the sounds of coins,
pigeons roosting, the aspirational splashing
of commuters on a hot day.

If I listen close enough to my office
I hear snow or some form of snow,

or fall leaves in a gust of wind,
leaving stamps on pathways,
after heavy rain.

When I see the hazy yellow fields of heat
I hear air being pushed through vents,

asking if I might be persuaded
to breathe a little louder.

Emma Bider is a writer and PhD student living in Ottawa. She is currently fixated on identifying plants in her neighbourhood. Emma’s collection of short stories We Animals comes out in December 2020. You can follow her on Twitter at @ebider. 

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