Carolyn Marie Souaid writes: Although written pre-Pandemic, something speaks to me now in this poem— perhaps the idea that we are all just a small piece of a much larger picture, that we are not the centre of the universe and that our time on this planet is limited. Understanding this is liberating.

Carolyn Marie Souaid

I awoke to handfuls of light,
the cool wind pressing through a window.
Undulating curtains.
My blood sugar spiked, energy pumped
through my body’s meridians.
I was as open
as new life blinking into the sun
for the first time,
a blank slate, ignorant
of our long, dark, collective history:
sooty traces of the Industrial Revolution
coating our lungs. Unaware
of the naysayers and conspiracy theorists,
fascists and colonizers
fighting like wolves for the scraggy earth,
however fucked up;
I marked an X on the great,
white marble museums
rigged with dynamite and set for extinction,
erudite civilizations
detonating into the atmosphere.

And so, the wind.

It came to me, in a shallow breath, that nothing mattered,
nothing at all,

it addressed me by name, this flush wind,
it rippled through me,
it rose and fell like a tribe of women, dancing.

Montrealer Carolyn Marie Souaid is the author of seven books of poetry and a novel.