KLARA DU PLESSIS is a poet and critic residing in Montreal. Her chapbook, Wax Lyrical—shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award—was released from Anstruther Press, 2015, and a full-length collection is forthcoming from Palimpsest Press, 2018. Poems have recently appeared in Asymptote, Canthius, CV2, PRISM, Minola Review, and is forthcoming in the 30 Under 30 poetry anthology compiled by Carleton University. She curates the monthly, Montreal-based Resonance Reading Series, and writes reviews and essays for The Montreal Review of Books and The Rusty Toque. Follow her on Twitter @ToMakePoesis

Desire paths

Writing lines
as punishment being something I did
perhaps once or twice in elementary school,
never my fault exactly, class misconduct  
leading to the equivalent of a group poem
with dictated words, repletion
of the most boring variety forbidding
or framed as I will not… Tidiness
of handwriting, crucial to the flow of
correction, not only to write the words,
but to write them with respect.
Sensuality isn’t supposed to be
of the essence before adolescence.
Desire paths, also called desire lines,
are those that trespass property,
shortcuts that erode underfoot to a permanent
secret sequestered at the back of the brain
and even I forget exist. Paths imprinted
in gardens or fields, paths that lead to
very definite alcoves, recess is a secluded
place or it is a break, a line break. For a poet
lineation is the strategic locus of phrases
to the advantage of the poem’s profile.
Every line ever written has experienced
the exact same emptiness after the caesura.