Terrorist Your philosophy was always inside Of me. Begging prisoner. Smooth talk friend. Little ember in a quiet, harmful night. I have wondered for so long What I would do. If I met you, Dancing the rhythm of anger slowly forward Folding over the dough of pain, the cookies of comfort Never tasted so soft. I never tasted so soft ... that night we wept in bodies And denied ourselves the pleasure of counting The maimed and dying on our hands Would you like to ... you said as though I had a choice As though the roar of expediency could be drowned In a heartbeat. I never think much now. Who could pause in this thick white and breathe the ash Of dreamers gone And understand where we have gone What you've become. I heard you loud and clear, but still I left myself And my stunted little tree Faith gone the way of priests And animals. You thought that good could come from redemption That chocolate comes from god And ice cream is a sinner's last wish before their limbs trace arcs in air to street corners and freelance coroners. But I never believed.
Rachael Dempsey grew up in Kapuskasing Ontario. She studied English at McGill University and international relations at the University of Toronto. She has worked and studied In Colombia, Japan, Egypt, Israel and Spain. Her work has been published in Montage: A Literary Journal. She is currently reading The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje, An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty-First Century by James Orbinski and Canadian Foreign Policy in Critical Perspective edited by J. Marshall Beier and Lana Wylie.