OXIDANT | ENGINE : Issue 6

Dessa Bayrock

The cabin in Bellwood

 


On our first day, I press my fingers into a spider’s egg 
by accident, all cotton and caviar, dried and dead, tucked 


into the handle of the sliding glass door— some ancient hope 
now gone to seed. The door sticks in its track, opening 


just wide enough to let us in, and so we sidle out and in 
all weekend, and out again, once the heat dies down. 


Sam recounts how raccoons tried to get in over the winter, 
under the shingles, and it’s hard not to feel like interlopers,


too, even though we’re the first to open the cabin 
since we were last out in September. Now, on the hottest day 


of summer, we pull out Monopoly, trying to reimagine 
capitalism in our favour. We fail, because of course we fail, 


and when Veronika loses her last dollar, she produces cards 
and plays solitaire: mystifying, quaint, and oddly alienated 


outside of a computer screen. “I lose,” she proclaims, 
and starts again, as though it’s normal to lose yourself 


to yourself. Heat-waved in my bunk bed, I tumble into a book 
of essays about marriage. Can we reimagine this, 


too? Intimacy as inescapable as capitalism, as summer heat? 
I read the corny parts aloud, a sweet poem about old people 


fucking, and we all laugh—as if it’s ridiculous, to love 
someone forever, as if we don’t love each other, too, 


our tenderness not yet punctured like a spider’s egg.

Dessa Bayrock lives in Ottawa with two cats and a variety of succulents, one of which occasionally blooms. She used to unfold paper for a living at Library and Archives Canada, and is currently a PhD student in English, studying literary awards and the production of cultural value. Her poems have appeared in IDK Magazine, Cotton Xenomorph, The Maynard, and Spy Kids Review, among others. She is the sheepish and loving proprietor of post ghost press. You can find her, or at least more about her, at  dessabayrock.com, or on Twitter at @yodessa.