menu Arc Poetry Magazine

Frances Boyle reads “Momentum”



This trip makes your heart hurt, not
that old slow ache, echoes of tires on wet pavement
through an underpass, but palpable
palpitation, crazed clock ticking
sideways through time. A beam
swings up a hill, makes sculpture of the clouds
carve out the road bulky solid.
Things you pass at the side but don’t see
properly-stark black weeds and fences,
trees and sheds and houses
beyond the moving tunnel and the light burrows,
signs and neon lights, and your eyes burn dry
when you’re this tired and the heater blows its weary breath.

You want to live forever with your family in the space
within the passageway carved by light.

The moon a knowing blood orange
hovers on the horizon, takes light doesn’t
give it. Pulls you on with the same grave carelessness
she pulls the oceans. So cold in your warm car
you feel the greedy night put its mouth to the windows
watching the tousled teenagers curled like cats
in the backseat, their mingled breath milkwarm
from the singing and gossip, now hushed
as you hurtle through the night, moon-mad with memories.
You want to crawl inside
their pearly skin, peer through their eyes
at the world and the moonlight on it.



Frances Boyle is the author of two books of poetry, most recently This White Nest (Quattro Books, 2019), with a third collection forthcoming in 2022. She has also written Tower, a novella (Fish Gotta Swim Editions, 2018) and Seeking Shade, short stories (The Porcupine’s Quill, 2020), which was a finalist for the Danuta Gleed and ReLit Awards, and won The Miramichi Reader’s Very Best! Award for story collections. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Contemporary Verse 2, Best Canadian Poetry 2020, Event, Paris Lit Up and The Maynard. For more, visit and follow @francesboyle19 on Twitter and Instagram.