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A Witness of Sublime

A Witness of Sublime

Last week after class
I chose to loiter in Downtown till dusk,
lazily cruising circles on top of my skateboard.
I chose to avoid the upcoming campus crowds
of students cramming for their semester finals
and watched hordes of suited polyester
force themselves into full-capacity C-Trains.

I assumed they were heading home before the dawn of rush hour.
But I decided to hike every layered incline of yellowed limestone staircases,
before speeding past security guards for miles
through countless corridor aisles
on cheap marble-coated plastic tiles,
synonymous to Calgary’s +15.

I popped ollies over rail-road ramps
and skid onto oceans of chipped stone bricks.
I counted the macerated cigarettes and seething tinges of smoldering whiskers
that swallows the atmosphere of Stephen Avenue on the daily.

I botched a B-Line across the Peace Bridge,
bruising my knee,
scuffing the sleeve of sweater,
scraping my cheek
and almost breaking my arm…again.

I caught myself day-dreaming in Chinatown,
watching K-Pop dance covers being recorded.
I argued with myself if I should buy another bowl
of soulful kimbap at SSO YUMMY
or maybe indulge into building more model kits
from that hidden shop tucked in the corner
of the second floor of the Dragon City mall-

Or maybe I should drag my procrastinating ass
back home where my textbooks stay suspended
against my notebook binders
on the broken corner of my make-shift desk.

But if I’m being honest,
they’ve been buried in the back part of my backpack
and haven’t been opened since the start of November.
So I lied to myself saying: “those things didn’t matter right now”.
Then I lapped around the block of The Bow
and sat solemnly under the shadow of the Calgary Tower.
I slashed my nails into the bottom of my deck,
scraping off the seared Wild-Rose stems
while remembering the suburban calligraphy
I scribbled on top each block of shattered asphalt.
I remembered the shapes I traced over shattered dappled leaves
shedding off forgotten Aspens.
And I remembered seeing my own chapped lips
underneath scarring sunlight, reciting raspened whims

of me trying to sing last Sunday’s church service hymns.
Yet somehow, my focus always anchors onto these heliotrope pips,
excavated from barren parking lots, shoveled out from unruffled soil.

And from this I learned:
these are ladybugs lingering on top the spider’s web,
these are angels plainly lurking in this urban jungle,
these are perished souls,
traipsing past tundras of cement
and compilations of skyscrapers reflecting street lights,
trying to place their personal memoirs
as souvenirs for their partner’s next lifespan.

So perhaps they get picked up by people like me,
hoping to get packed onto the sharpened point
of a mechanical 8B pencil,
and used as a muse to pull the introspective concepts
out for a couple poems of a chapbook
about the city’s sublime.