I owe to the convergence of delayed appliances
and a myocardial infarction
this trip to Montréal.
I keep seeing the same bridge and the same church,
beyond which, I have read, lies a body
of water with a name.
That baby carriage is full of rabbits, black and white,
like the Holstein painted on a plate
in my mother’s kitchen.
Looking out from this mountaintop chalet,
I recall a ping-pong ball in Texas,
lost among daylilies.
My mother, in Station Place des Arts, was never confused
by exit signs pointing to and away
from Rue St. Catherine.
On this seventeenth-century map, I can’t find home,
just the word Portage—and there, below,
again the word Portage.
This book tells me “Il ne reste jamais assez de mots
pour mourir,” but I don’t know what that means
and I’m afraid to ask.
My mother never told me about her late afternoons
watching the paddleboat riders
on the Canal Lachine.
I have walked through the smell of the sea
only to cross train tracks
lined with cornflowers.
Brad Richard is the author of Habitations, Motion Studies, and Butcher’s Sugar. His poems and reviews have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Barrow Street, The Iowa Review, New Orleans Review, Okey-Pankey, Sakura Review, and other journals. He directs the creative writing program at Lusher Charter School in New Orleans and co-curates a LGBTQ+ reading series, The Waves.