King Tide

by Brandi Bird

Say Musqueam, say Squamish, say Tsleil-Waututh. Say king tide on a stone. The coastline cracking on the back of the beach and the sun reflected off False Creek all lost in the homecoming of water. I trespass on Beer Island, the Pacific waning from the seawall. The police tape a warning of water and the moon and myself in retreat. An apogee, the prairies in the pink of my cheeks, my body perched on a rock with a king can. I take in the waves like I breathe; shallow, from the top of my chest, measuring time by them. I see the land and it floods more each year. My house a floodplain, my home so far from here. The ocean eroding what is man-made, what is upkept, what is mild. And this new year, a territory with a name I can't speak; it's not mine to tell.

Brandi Bird is an Oji-Cree poet from Winnipeg, Manitoba currently residing on Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territory.