I Used to Take the Gum From Your Mouth

when you passed out
drunk halfway up the stairs,
a displaced Mi’kmaq
hung over a staircase
on Northern Dancer Boulevard

afraid you’d choke
to death on Dentyne,
I’d chew cinnamon-fused hops
before spitting leftover gum into the toilet

I knew you’d hate to let a corporation
have your last fire breath

This poem “I Used to Take the Gum From Your Mouth” originally appeared in Indigenous Literature and the Arts of Comunity. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 230-231 (Autumn/Winter 2016): 143.

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