The Answer by Allison Grayhurst

We must be a potion

mixed. Alone we have

potency and purpose still,

but combined is the breakthrough

explosion, the cry of light that

will grind heaven into sparkling

dust we can bathe our bodies in. 

Let’s bathe, hand in hand, limb over limb, 

relax in shimmering warm waters.

The guilt that was yours,

guilt for feeling responsible for choices 

that were not yours, exorcise it, 

burn that haunted palace down and construct

a new hut where we can live and make 

a clean home in, pure from ghosts 

and the blood bonds of false ownership. 

I see you alive and blazing, 

your chained foot unchained

and the sun warming your back.

I see you with two hands working their strength,

kneading this sick world with your voice 

so strong it will spawn revelations, shape

spiritual fires, ladders from lightning bolts, splitting

the wheat from the chaff. 

Be honoured you were chosen for this task.

How could you record it if you didn’t live it,

if you didn’t suck in the last 

of its shame and suffering threshold,

choke on its dry and brittle pieces of bone?

So suck it in, take it into your bleeding esophagus, 

then watch it dissolve, its frayed and familiar howling

vanished into a new-found brightness. 

We must climb the high wall together. 

Us, as one, or not at all.

That is the commitment of our marriage

 - spit and gore, glory and bond -


Eccentric dancers, fierce creators,

our shoulders as swords slicing the pie,

casting off this second mortality,

together, breaking the wind in two, 

being born in the space between, landed.

©2019 Allison Grayhurst


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Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Four of her poems were nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2015/2018, and one eight-part story-poem was nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2017. She has over 1200 poems published in more than 475 international journals and anthologies. In 2018, her book Sight at Zero, was listed #34 on CBC’s “Your Ultimate Canadian Poetry List”.

Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published sixteen other books of poetry and six collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series. In 2015, her book No Raft – No Ocean was published by Scars Publications. More recently, her book Make the Wind was published in 2016 by Scars Publications. As well, her book Trial and Witness – selected poems, was published in 2016 by Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group). She is a vegan. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay;


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