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Cover of issue #221

Current Issue: #221 Science & Canadian Literature (Summer 2014)

Canadian Literature’s Issue 221 (Summer 2014) is now available. This special issue focuses on science and Canadian literature and features a wide range of articles and book reviews as well as a selection of new Canadian poetry.


by Jean Eng

In another country
where gender is justice
he would not stand for this fire
coming from a woman’s belly
her match-lit voice
searing back drafts
into midnight silence.

When she asked him (politely)
to put the cell phone down
while he was driving
he could have killed her.

Instead—he told her
          just a minute
and waited until a dialogue
concluded with his intended party.
She asked him twice. The meter kept running.

Now, in front of her building
she is trying to burn off his thick accent
to that part of his English
capable of understanding: safety hazards, conscience.

He drives halfway around the world
to pick up his own angry god
stone-walling her logic with incantation.
          I did put the phone down.
          I did put the phone down.
          I did put the phone down.

Now—she wants to brain him
with all of the weather inside her.

Instead, she gets out
takes down the cab number
and slams the passenger door so hard
it sends him back to where he came from.

This poem originally appeared in Canadian Literature #163 (Winter 2015), Asian Canadian Writing. (pg. 156)

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