“Inventory”
By Kayla Czaga

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Sometimes the bartenders fill shot glasses
until the liquid bubbles above the rim
and it’s impossible lift them without dripping.

I deliver these shots without telling my tables
what’s been lost, for surely it’s understood
something always spills in the distance

between people. In relationships, I’ve lost
so many books I’ve resigned my library
to incompletion. I lost my mood enroute to

lunch and don’t know if it was you or me
or my hunger who misplaced it. We fill
spillage sheets, tracking the constant small

losses and adjust our inventory. My first entry
records the morning my parents drove
my beloved objects and me permanently

to new province. I craved a yellow endless
horizon and woke daily to soggy mountains.
I requested mayo and was spread

relish instead. I’m still waiting,
Kyra Demski, for my clip-on earrings
and afternoons by Lakelse holding hands.

Permanently out of stock are my brave
face and phony orgasm. It’s been ages
since I’ve considered reordering them.

 

From CNQ 103, the 50th Anniversary Issue

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