Two Poems

by Brianna Ferguson


The Gatehouse

My collar is grey polyester and broken cardboard
melted through by the sweaty necks of last season.
My shoes are clown red and dust—ten dollars
at the place downtown that was forced to close
after the Mexican labour issue.
The ceiling above my head is dotted with
dusty cobwebs which remind me
of nebulae before infrared filters.
There is a mosquito in my ear but I
can’t reach it no matter how many times
I hit myself in the head.

People rumble to my window in vehicles
costing more than my house. They say
they would like to camp and ask
if I can do something about the bugs.

You must love camping, they say.
I pop a Mentos and hope
they can’t smell the Pilsner.


Boys and Girls in the Garden

The old lady of Monday afternoon keeps watch in the park
with her military-grade binoculars.

The birds of the swamp are active today—
heads dripping gutter water as spring cracks its leather whip
at their colorful backs.

From five hundred meters she can hardly see their colors.
Just black and white forms, male and female,
tagging each other like wedding gifts in a registry.

There is so much sex,
so many flapping bits,
it stands to reason that boy birds,
cousins, brothers, mothers and sons
be tripped by the wires of incestual sins
from time to time.
Older birds take younger birds
without their consent,
choking them in the beaver fever water
as they seek survival through their progeny.

But all this woman sees
from this distance is
God’s creatures in The Garden.


Brianna Ferguson earned her BA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia in 2016. Her writing has appeared in The Minola Review, Polychrome Ink, Femmeuary, Mistake House, Effervescent, and the upcoming anthology, Another Place.